The mother of the six-month-old boy who was allegedly murdered by his 22-year-old father Marthinus Pelser has today painted a chilling picture of violence and abuse in her relationship with the accused.
Bianca Rothman’s allegations in her affidavit were read at the end of the court proceedings, Roodepoort Record reported.
The proceedings started with the defence Advocate Van Rensburg’s continued questioning of the investigating officer, detective Richmond Motaung. Van Rensburg repeatedly told the witness at various times that part of his testimony was invalid because he was not an expert on the issue in question.
He also tried to discredit Motaung’s evidence opposing Marthinus Pelser’s bail application.
When Motaung brought up the Justice for Baby Deon support group’s petition, the defence said it was inadmissible because it was electronically generated and that he was not the author.
After repeatedly raising this point, Magistrate Baloyi eventually told Van Rensburg it was not a trial but a bail application, therefore the rules were less stringent.
Van Rensburg wanted to know whether Motaung knew what ‘tagging’ was, referring to the electronic tags suspects wear when released on bail to enable the police to trace their whereabouts at all times and ensure that they do not violate their bail conditions. Motaung said he knew of this practice.
The defence then wanted to know whether Motaung would still oppose bail if Pelser was tagged, would stay at an address in Swartruggens and not make contact with Rothman.
Motaung insisted he would oppose bail, as he feared for Rothman and the accused’s safety. The defence also brought up the fact that prior to the current charge Pelser had no previous convictions and therefore never absconded. He also did not have a passport.
The state then asked the witness to read the first page of the postmortem report.
According to state pathologist Doctor Shelly Stuart, the deceased had multiple blunt force injuries, a fractured skull and bruises that were in line with child abuse.
In summary she found that the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries due to assault.
The state then supplied Baloyi with pictures of the deceased baby and the crime scene.
Baloyi was visibly dismayed when he saw the pictures. The state questioned Motaung on each picture, asking him if that was what he had seen on the scene and to explain each picture.
The defence then objected, saying they needed a statement by the photographer to the effect that he indeed did take the photographs. The state said they had such a statement and the court was adjourned for them to make a copy for the defence.
When the court resumed, Rothman’s affidavit was read by the state, although she was not in court herself. She alleged that Pelser often became aggressive and would get angry “over small things”.
She used the example of him returning from work and losing his temper because “she had done nothing around the house”, although at the time she was pregnant.
She explained that he would assault her in such a way that others would not notice or know.
He would lock all the doors and play music at a high volume so that their neighbours would not hear what was happening inside their unit.
He also would wrap a cloth around his fists not to leave marks when he assaulted her, she alleged.
Then he would allegedly drag her to the shower and give her a cold shower, allegedly so she “would give him the respect” he deserved.
She also claimed he prevented her from laying charges against him, and when she asked for a divorce, he pushed her to the floor and started kicking and assaulting her.
“He must not be given bail,” she pleaded in her affidavit, alleging he was violent, that she was scared of him and that he more than once threatened to kill her.
The case, at the request of the defence, was once again postponed until October 10 since they wanted to study the new exhibits. Pelser will remain in custody.
While Pelser was walking down to the cells, he confidently gave his family a two-finger salute.
– Caxton News Service