The family of an 18-month-old toddler who was stabbed in the head at a birthday party in Cape Town are livid after they were not informed that the accused appeared in court a day ahead of schedule.
They are now questioning whether they were not alerted of the change in date because they are foreigners. A furious Liliane Mukidi arrived at court on Friday clutching an enlarged picture of little Heres with a bandage on her head.
They had travelled to the CBD from Parklands, Cape Town, expecting to see the accused, Sello Richard, in the dock. However, when the family arrived at court they were informed that he had already appeared on Thursday.
“Now, we do not know if he got bail or not,” said Mukidi who is Heres’ grandmother. Speaking outside court, she said Heres was at a birthday party at a complex last Sunday and was playing in a common area when she suddenly disappeared.
Her panicked family eventually saw her walking out of a flat with an injury to her head. Mukidi said the search party went into the flat and allegedly found blood on the floor. They were told the attack was in “self-defence”, which they found ludicrous.
Heres’ grandfather, Alex, said the family felt it might be a hate crime because they were originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“What was he defending himself from? People invading his privacy? She is 18 months old,” added an annoyed Alex.
Richard was arrested on Sunday and faces a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Police spokesperson Colonel Andre Traut confirmed that a toddler was stabbed with a knife once in the head between 19:00 and 20:40.
A clerk at the court said Richard was supposed to have appeared in court on Friday but appeared on Thursday instead to apply for bail.
The case was postponed to October 15 to collect more information for the application, and he will remain in custody.