Cape Town – “I told Davedine that she must stop with Mel. Mel is not a good friend to her.”
This is how the father of missing 20-month-old Orderick Lucas summed up his feelings following the disappearance and possible death of his baby boy.
Kounkou Dziendelet struggled to hold back the tears when Weekend Argus visited the home of his partner’s mother this week, a road away from where the body of a little boy was discovered in a drain on Tuesday.
Police have yet to confirm that the body found was that of Orderick Lucas.
Dziendelet was not immediately able to answer whether he believed that his partner, Davedine Lucas, was involved in the disappearance of his son.
“I cannot answer that. I have twins that I now need to worry about,” he answered when asked about the role Lucas may have had in his son’s disappearance.
However, minutes later, Dziendelet said he believed that Lucas was innocent.
NPA spokesperson, Eric Ntabazalila confirmed that Melvin Volkwyn, a friend of Lucas, and another suspect were arrested and appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
“Volkwyn appeared in court on charges of kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice. His case was postponed to April 9 for bail information. Charges against the other man were withdrawn as he was not linked to the crimes Volkwyn is accused of,” said Ntabazalila.
Dziendelet, a Congolese national, said he had been in a relationship with Lucas for more than 10 years and the couple also has 6-year-old twin boys.
He spoke candidly about Lucas’ drug use and said she had been using tik and Mandrax from the time he first met her.
Lucas herself admitted to her drug use.
Orderick disappeared from the wendy house that Dziendelet and Lucas share in Melton Rose, Kleinvlei, on Sunday, March 24, but was only officially reported missing on Thursday, March 28.
Lucas’s version of events is that she had asked Volkwyn to remove Orderick from her Tecoma Street home as she was trying to evade a mob which had accused her of stealing a cellphone.
The boy and his twin brothers usually stay with their grandmother, Cornelia Schippers, in Palm Park, but she was celebrating her 50th birthday that weekend and had asked her daughter and Dziendelet to look after Orderick during the festivities at her home.
Schippers told Weekend Argus that social workers had removed the children from Lucas’s care because of her drug use.
According to Lucas, Volkwyn had been asked to take her son to a safe place while she sorted out the cellphone issue and she had intended to meet him later and get Orderick back.
However, this did not happen. Lucas was assaulted and collapsed near her mother’s house while fleeing the angry mob and ended up seeking medical attention at the Eerste River Hospital.
“I bumped into Mel on Monday, and he told me that he took Ordie to my mom’s house. I believed him and thought my child was safe,” said Lucas, also struggling to hold back the tears.
According to Lucas, she worked the following two days and visited her mother’s house later in the week to check up on Orderick, only to discover that the toddler never made it to his grandmother’s house.
“I was running around like a mad thing. I even went to the people who said I stole the phone to see if they had my child. I did not steal the phone, and they did not have my child. I was screaming like a mad thing and begged Mel to tell me where my child was. He insisted that he gave Orderick to me earlier in the week, but that was a lie,” said Lucas.
Lucas admitted that she and Volkwyn used drugs together and that she would often leave the child with him while she went to purchase drugs.
Lucas said she and Volkwyn had been friends since October 2018 and she was at pains to answer why she would leave her young son in the care of a man she had only known for a short while.
In the past two weeks, it emerged that Orderick had sustained many injuries while in the care of Volkwyn, while his mother was out buying drugs.
According to Lucas, Orderick had a burn mark on his cheek, which she believed was caused by a “tik lollie”.
On another occasion, Volkwyn had been expected to take the child to the clinic to have a tooth extracted.
According to Dziendelet and Lucas, four teeth were extracted by Volkwyn himself, using pliers and, despite Volkwyn insisting that he had taken the child to the clinic, the clinic had no record that Orderick was ever there.
During the last incident, Orderick reportedly suffered an arm injury, again in the care of Volkwyn while his mother was out buying drugs.
Lucas vowed that she was off the drugs and has been clean for almost two weeks. According to Schippers, plans are under way to get Lucas into a rehab centre.
“There are times when I just scream out, ‘Forgive me, Ordie, for giving you to Mel on that day’,” said Lucas.
May 17, 2017 Orderick llucas
October 2018 Davedine Lucas befriends Melvyn Volkwyn. They soon use tik and Mandrax together.
November 2018 Orderick sustains a burn mark on his cheek, allegedly caused by a “tik lollie”. Parents believe Volkwyn burnt the child. Mother, Davedine Lucas, admits that she was out buying drugs at the time. Orderick has four missing teeth. Parents believe Volkwyn used pliers to extract the teeth despite claims that he had taken the child to the clinic. The clinic has no record.
December 2018 Orderick sustains an arm injury while in the care of Volkwyn. Lucas again admits that she was out buying drugs when the child sustained the injury.
Sunday, March 24, 2019 Lucas asks Volkwyn to keep Orderick safe while she sorts out an issue over an alleged stolen cellphone. She is attacked by an angry mob who accused her of stealing a cellphone. She sustains a gash to her head.
Monday, March 25 Lucas seeks medical attention at the Eerste River Hospital. Lucas bumps into Volkwyn who tells her that he dropped Orderick off at his grandmother Cornelia Schippers’ house in Palm Park, Kleinvlei. Lucas believes Volkwyn.
Tuesday, March 26 and Wednesday, March 27 Lucas goes to work. She picks grapes at a farm in Stellenbosch.
Thursday, March 28 Lucas misses the truck which transports her to work and is home for the day. She decides to visit her mother’s house in Palm Park and to check up on Orderick and the twins. She learns that Orderick never made it to her mother’s house in Palm Park. Orderick is officially reported missing.
Weekend of March 30 and 31 Lucas and Schippers are arrested and questioned in the disappearance of Orderick. They are both released shortly afterwards.
Sunday, March 31 Two male suspects aged 33 and 40 are arrested after a kidnapping case was registered in connection with Orderick’s disappearance.
Monday, April 1 Case against Lucas and Schippers is officially withdrawn.
Tuesday, April 2 Two men appeared in court for Orderick’s disappearance but the charge against one was withdrawn. The other suspect, Volkwyn, is still in detention and is due back in court on April 9, 2019. The body of a little boy is found in a drain in Palm Park, one street away from the home of Schippers.
Friday, April 5 SAPS say: “Kindly be advised that the case is still under investigation and there are no new developments to report at this stage. The identity of the body of the baby discovered in Eerste River is yet to be determined.”