Orderick Lucas’s murder trial continues to play out in the Western Cape High Court this week. In the latest revelation, the murdered one-year-old’s biological father, Doukomancia Kounkou Dziendelet claimed he had no idea of the alleged abuse Orderick was facing, nor of his partner’s drug abuse.
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 for his death.
According to Orderick’s mother Davidene Lucas, 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. She claims the group 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 of her children after Orderick suffered a broken arm. According to Lucas, this happened after she had left him in Volkwyn’s care while she went to buy drugs, although Volkwyn claims Davidene accidentally broke his arm while yanking on his arm to pick him up.
Lucas testified that on the day she was attacked 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.
A few days later on March 28, 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.
His cause of death was not determined by autopsy.
On Tuesday, February 9 defence attorney Susan Kuun continued to poke holes in the State’s case against Volkwyn. Kuun has already argued that Lucas may be responsible for accidentally killing Orderick and tried to cover it up, which Lucas denies.
While being cross-examined, Orderick’s biological father Dziendelet swore to the court that Volkwyn had told him Orderick was with him.
Dziendelet also told the court he was unaware of the drug use of his partner of 12 years, Orderick’s mother Davidene Lucas. This, despite her having tested positive for tik, mandrax and cocaine while she was pregnant with Orderick.
Speaking at the Western Cape High Court on February 3, Lucas admitted to being a drug addict and blowing mandrax smoke on his face to “help him sleep”.
“People were telling me that but I did not notice it myself,” said Dziendelet during his cross-examination, according to the Cape Times.
Dziendelet also said he was unaware that Orderick’s teeth had allegedly been extracted with pliers, purportedly by Volkwyn, and was under the impression it was done at a medical facility. He claims to only have found out the truth after Orderick had gone missing.
He also claims to have had no idea that Orderick was taken to hospital with a fever, diarrhoea and dehydration mere days before his disappearance, and was unaware that his son was frequently left in Volkwyn’s care.
“This could have been an arrangement between the two of them (Volkwyn and Lucas) but I was unaware,” he said.
Medical reports showed that Orderick suffered from malnutrition, ulcers on his genitals and mouth and septic sores.
New witnesses will take the stand this week as the trial continues.