NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on April 11, 2014.
In a court appearance no longer than five minutes yesterday, Labeeba Truter was told she would have to spend 15 more days at Johannesburg’s “Sun City” Prison.
Truter, the principle and owner of Petite Bumper Daycare in Rosettenville, in the south of Johannesburg, was arrested on April 8 facing charges of assault and child abuse. Truter made the news earlier this week following a viral video of a child tied up and gagged at her daycare centre.
In her first court appearance at the Johannesburg Regional Court yesterday afternoon, Judge Hawkins said Truter can formally apply for bail on April 25. Truter looked back at her family in disbelief when she found out she wouldn’t be able to go home after her appearance.
Advocate Herry Bonke Maluleke, Truter’s legal representative said the State could not let her go because she faced “numerous counts and further investigation by the State” would need to be done. “The allegations are yet to be tested,” and the State has to prove them, he said.
Truter stuck to her guns and said: “I’m not the one who did it.” She claimed she had been falsely arrested and the charges she was facing did not even pertain to the complainant’s child.
“It’s not even the same kid. The kid in the Daily Sun is not Beauty and the “father” they spoke to is not her father,” said a frustrated Truter.
She added the child in the video was not even in the country at the moment, as her father had taken her and her mother to Mozambique at the weekend.
Truter said she was called to the bathroom by one of the other children at her daycare and when she got to the bathroom another teacher was there with the child. “When I walked in she hid something behind her back – a cellphone maybe. She has family at the Daily Sun,” said Truter.
Maluleke said Truter would “most definitely” make bail on April 25.