Social worker recommends prison sentence for baby Daniel’s mother

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[Note: the following story contains graphic details that may offend sensitive readers, including children.]

Harrowing details of child abuse have emerged in the Baby Daniel case. Four-year-old Baby Daniel was killed by his mother’s boyfriend Timothy Naidoo after he was severely assaulted.

Social worker Lizette Botes who prepared the pre-sentencing report, told of how Baby Daniel was often dunked in water for failing potty training. He was forced to eat his own faeces, at one point his neck was broken.

Baby Daniel’s mother Mary Vermaak has admitted to using drugs early on in her relationship with Timothy Naidoo.

Vermaak was convicted of deliberate child neglect while her ex-boyfriend Naidoo was convicted of murdering four-year-old Baby Daniel.

According to a pre-sentencing report read by social worker Lizette Botes, Vermaak admitted to using drugs. Botes says although Vermaak stopped using drugs, she suspects that Naidoo had continued.

The report, which details interviews with the accused and family members, also made startling findings that Baby Daniel had often been punished for not being potty trained.

The real names of the people in the case have been withheld as per court order.

Botes has noted that Vermaak had admitted to drug use in her youth and in the beginning of her relationship with Naidoo.

Vermaak had also told her that Baby Daniel was often punished by Naidoo for struggling with potty training. He would sometimes punish him by dunking his head in the water. He would sometimes force the child to eat his own faeces.

Vermaak also said she was afraid of Naidoo, saying that she would also be punished if she tried to intervene when Naidoo punished her children.

The social worker has recommended a prison sentence for the four-year-old’s mother.

Botes says the fact that the mother knew all about the assault and did nothing should land her in jail.

“Include imprisonment from which she may later be placed under Corrective Supervision, that the condition of Corrective Supervision are that (she) must attend and complete individual therapy program and complete structured parental guidance program. Number three; parental rights to her three minor children are suspended pending the outcome of therapeutic interventions recommended.”