One-year-old Orderick Lucas went missing on March 24, 2019 and was found eight days later in a stormwater drain in Eerste River. Melvin Volkwyn, a friend of Orderick’s mother is currently in court facing murder charges.

Court proceedings began on Monday, February 1 at the Western Cape High Court. Orderick’s mother Davidene Lucas testified that on the day of her son’s disappearance, she had left him with a friend after a group accused her of stealing a cellphone and selling it.

The group allegedly forced her to go with them to the man she sold the phone to. She claims they assaulted her until she passed out, and then her mother and brother took her home to nurse her wounds.

At the time, her mother Cornelia Scheepers had legal custody of three of her four children. Her eldest daughter was in the custody of her biological father. She lost custody after Orderick suffered a broken arm.

Lucas testified that her mother did not go pick Orderick up from the friend, despite knowing where he was.

She then claimed that Volkwyn had picked the child up from the friend. When she saw him later that day, he told her that he had returned the child to his grandmother.

It was on March 28 when Davidene says she discovered Orderick had never been returned home. She reported her son as missing and a search ensued, and his body was found in a stormwater drain metres away from his grandmother’s home on April 2. A group of children happened upon his body while trying to retrieve their ball from the drain.

Volkwyn has pleaded not guilty to the 22-month-old’s death.

In an investigation by a social worker, it was discovered that four teeth had been extracted from the boy’s mouth with pliers when he was only nine-months-old, and Lucas claims Volkwyn is responsible. The social worker also found that the mother never sought medical help for this, despite the incident leaving the child’s gums torn. Instead, she only nursed his mouth with saltwater.

Speaking at the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday [February, 3] his mother Davidene admitted to being a drug addict and blowing mandrax smoke on his face to “help him sleep”.

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