Man convicted of killing girlfriend’s toddler to be sentenced

CAPE TOWN – Sentencing proceedings against Pieter van Tonder, who is convicted of the murder of 16 month old Asheeqah Scott, are expected to resume in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday. This, after a postponement last month due to an outstanding social worker’s report.

The 16 month old is reported to have been thrown around, burnt and beaten until she died by a frustrated Van Tonder who had lost patience with the toddler’s mother- his girlfriend at the time- who was taking too long to come fetch her baby.

He admitted that at the time of the killing he was high, after having smoked a “white pipe” of mandrax and dagga in Delft on September 3, 2016. Van Tonder explained in his guilty plea that he was supposed to be taking care of the toddler while her mother did the laundry.

He, however, had the baby with him when he bought drugs instead, and while he smoked with a friend at home. He claimed he was annoyed because Asheeqah’s mother, Shakera Scott, who was supposed to collect her daughter, running late.

Van Tonder 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. The child was found to have died from the injuries in her head. An autopsy, however, revealed 26 injuries to her face, body, thigh and lips.

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