Anger over delay in baby murderer’s sentencing

 

Cape Town – The family of 16-month-old Asheeqah Scott was furious after the sentencing of the man, who confessed to her murder, was postponed in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

The sentencing was postponed so that a social worker’s report could be obtained.

“It’s just a waste of bloody time,” Asheeqah’s aunt, Mushfeeka Scott, said outside court.

“Why do they need to do a background check?”

“How brutally was that child killed? Does that not explain him?” asked another aunt, Soraya Schoeman.

Peter van Tonder has admitted that he was high at the time of the killing, after he had smoked a “white pipe” of mandrax and dagga in Delft, east of Cape Town.

In his guilty plea, he explained that he was supposed to be taking care of the toddler while her mother did laundry on September 3, 2016.

However, he had the little girl with him when he bought drugs instead, and while he smoked them at home with a friend.

‘Need to know what made you who you are’

Van Tonder claimed he was annoyed because Asheeqah’s mother, Shakera Scott, who was supposed to collect her daughter, was running late.

The two had been in a short, but volatile relationship, before the child’s death.

He slapped the child, put a hot “white pipe” on her lips, drove around with her in the car and deliberately braked so that she would fall, among other things.

Asheeqah was found to have died as a result of injuries to her head. However, an autopsy also revealed 26 injuries to her face, body, thigh and lips.

Pathologist Laura Peddle testified about the injuries during earlier sentencing proceedings.

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In court on Monday, Judge Mushtak Parker told Van Tonder that he could not go ahead with the sentencing without having a sense of who Van Tonder was.

“I need to know what made you who you are,” Parker said.

Not doing so would violate Van Tonder’s rights, the judge explained.

Sentencing was postponed to December 14.

Parker ordered that he receive the social worker’s report by December 12, at 13:00.

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