The man accused of the murder of his former girlfriend’s 3-year-old son, says the Child Protection Unit visited the little boy’s family twice and found nothing.
Timothy Naidoo and the boy’s mother, Mary Vermaak, are on trial in the Johannesburg High Court for the murder, abuse and neglect of the child, who died in June 2016.
Naidoo says Daniel fell into a bath of hot water and although he seemed fine afterwards, he was found dead the next day.
Daniel was never taken to hospital for the burn injuries but prior to this, he had been to hospital several times.
This is when Child Protection started visiting the family.
Before his death, Daniel had been in hospital a number of times. Once he fell from a tree and broke his legs. Another time he fell off his bicycle and broke his arm.
Yet another time he bruised his eyes after slamming into a sliding door. Not only did he injure himself many times, but his siblings also had injuries. Two of his sisters fell off the bed, one was a few weeks old at the time.
The Child Protection Unit visited the family after two social workers had visited in relation to the issues with Daniel.
Naidoo says the officers wrote in a document that there was nothing wrong, and then handed it to him and Vermaak to sign.
On Thursday, Vermaak’s lawyer took most of the day cross-examining Naidoo about his version of events.
Vermaak believes that Naidoo killed the child in the early hours of the morning, when the child went to relieve himself in the garden.
Vermaak however says she fell asleep immediately after she allowed the child to go out.
She believes Naidoo must have followed Daniel and poured water on him to hide the injuries he had inflicted on the child.
Daniel’s injuries were extensive. He sustained a broken elbow, broken femur, some injured ribs and 60% burn wounds on his body. He died of blunt force trauma to the head.
There were 15 applications of blunt force trauma. An expert has already said the injuries were more consistent with a car crash than a fall into a bath tub.
Naidoo insisted that he never hurt Daniel. He also said Vermaak was a good mother – although he had called her an alcoholic in his text messages to her. He said the only reason he had called her a bad mother and an alcoholic was because he was angry.