Family of Alex boy burnt with boiling water at creche disappointed by another court delay

The case against a former caregiver accused of burning a toddler with boiling water has been postponed. Stock photo.
The case against a former caregiver accused of burning a toddler with boiling water has been postponed. Stock photo.

An Alexandra family anxiously awaiting the trial of a teacher accused of seriously injuring a young boy while bathing him at a creche were left disappointed after the matter was postponed again on Wednesday.

Reneilwe Leso is accused of allegedly scalding the then two-year-old boy while she was bathing him at Stepping Stones Daycare in 2021.

Leso initially faced a charge of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm but this was changed to attempted murder.

The boy had soiled himself and Leso allegedly put him in very hot water to clean him, leaving him with serious injuries to his legs and buttocks.

Since then the four-year-old has had a traumatic journey to recovery and at one point was terrified to take a bath and had difficulty walking, according to Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA).

After a two-year wait, the trial was expected to kick off at the Alexandra magistrate's court on Wednesday, but load-shedding put a spanner in the works.

Leso stood briefly before magistrate Hannelie Banks as the latter explained the matter would have to be postponed as load-shedding would make it “impossible to proceed, unfortunately”.

Leso, dressed in a dark blue jacket and ripped jeans, was seated between two supporters while she waited for the matter to be heard. She quickly left the courtroom afterwards.

The little boy's family shared their anguish about another delay, with one member audibly gasping when Banks announced the postponement.

His grandmother had earlier shared her relief that they would finally be a step closer to hearing the full details of that fateful day.

“We've been waiting for two years and it's been postponement after postponement. Today I'm hopeful because we need to put this to rest. It's irritating and disturbing,” she said.

“It's been too long. We want justice. We are sick and tired of coming here.”

Asked how her grandson is holding up, the grandmother said walking and coping with daily life remained a struggle for the young boy. Added to that, he had developed anger issues, especially when other children asked him about his injuries.

“The boy is struggling. It's not an easy journey for him. It's also hitting us, we are in pain. It's not nice to drop your child at play school and when you fetch the child he's been burnt and years later he's still struggling.

“It's going to be a struggle for his entire life.” 

The matter was postponed to April 18.


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