Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
9 May 2017
7:25 am

Mamelodi man denies fatal assault on toddler

Ilse de Lange

The little boy died of severe head injuries shortly after his mother rushed him to hospital after finding him in a serious condition when she returned home on the afternoon of August 3, 2010.

Picture: Thinkstock

A Mamelodi man yesterday denied he had anything to do with the murder of his girlfriend’s three-year-old son, although he admitted the child was in his care when he sustained serious head and other injuries.

William Tjiane claimed he had never laid a hand on girlfriend Elizabeth Phahle’s son Tebetso.

The little boy died of severe head injuries shortly after his mother rushed him to hospital after finding him in a serious condition when she returned home on the afternoon of August 3, 2010.

According to an autopsy report, the child had injuries to his forehead and the back of his head, several brain bleeds, his buttocks were purple and swollen, there were lacerations inside his lips and he had print abrasions on his thigh and flank.

Tjiane said in a statement Phahlane had asked him to take the boy to the crèche that morning, but he had fallen asleep. When he woke up, he found the child sleeping on a carpet on the floor.

He undressed the little boy and put him in a bucket because the child had soiled himself.

He left the boy in the bucket while he went outside to fetch more water. He heard the child crying inside and claimed he had then found that the bucket had toppled over with the boy in it.

He insisted he had only seen a small lump on the boy’s head which he thought was not that serious, although he admitted that he was worried because the child had trouble breathing and looked as if he was choking on something.

According to Tjiane, he had cleaned and dressed the boy, who went to sleep after he was given milk. He had then left the child inside while he went to clean someone’s yard.

He did not mention anything to his girlfriend when she returned home hours later but a friend of his, whom he had earlier asked for advice, told her the child was not feeling well and was sleeping.

His girlfriend earlier testified in tears she had found her son naked and weak inside the house.

His last word to her was “mamma”. She took him in a taxi to hospital, where he was put on a ventilator.

Hours later she was told he had died.

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