"I did not kill my son," Davedine Lucas maintained on Wednesday, denying any involvement in the murder of her baby boy, Orderick.
"If I have to answer for my negligence as a mother, then I will go and sit [in jail] for that. But accusing me of having something to do with his death is absolutely false."
Fingers have been pointed at Lucas since her 22-month-old child went missing on Sunday, March 24.
His body was found nine days later in a drain mere doors from his mother's Wittebol Street house in Melton Rose.
Orderick, who lived with his grandmother Cornelia Scheepers, had been in his mother's care at the time of his disappearance.
Lucas had asked her friend Melvin Volkwyn to keep an eye on her son on Sunday, March 24 - the last time he was seen alive.
She claimed Volkwyn had told her on Monday that he had returned the child to Scheepers.
Lucas said it was when she went to visit her little boy at her mother's house on Thursday March 28 that she discovered that he had never been returned.
Volkwyn appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on charges of kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.
'Should have checked on my child'
A number of people who attended proceedings showed their support for Volkwyn, a local hairdresser. They argued that Lucas should be in the dock, as she was withholding "the full story" from the police.
No one has yet been charged with Orderick's murder.
Lucas said she was hurt that people would accuse her of being involved in the killing of her "noodletjie" (little noodle).
"I want to encourage those saying these things to go to the police and give their statements and evidence. They must give their version, so that it can be investigated and tested. It pains me that I am mourning Orderick's death and now fingers are being pointed at me.
"I admit that I should have checked on my child and whether he really was with my mother that Monday. But Melly [Volkwyn] is my friend and I had no reason to question what he told me. He never gave me any indication that I shouldn't believe what he said."
Before Orderick's body was found, Lucas and Scheepers were arrested on charges of child neglect and child abandonment.
The case against them was withdrawn without being placed on the court roll.
At the time, Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said there was "some outstanding information which we need".
'My innocence can be proven'
The docket was sent back to the police to attend to and the NPA considered placing the matter back on the roll when the docket returned.
The possibility of being rearrested made her anxious, Lucas admitted.
"But there is [a] focus on me, when the person who did this is still out there," she said.
"My innocence can be proven. Give me a lie detector test. I can say that I did not kill my own child. He was my everything."
She admitted being no stranger to the police holding cells - she has previously been arrested on drug possession charges.
"But I am done with that," Lucas insisted, claiming she had not taken any illegal substance since her son went missing.
"And I don't want to do it ever again. Since I stopped, my mother trusts me enough to leave her bedroom door unlocked, which she never used to do, because something would always go missing when I was around. But I am done with those things. Done."
'Busy little man'
Lucas plans to have Orderick's remains cremated once they were released.
His remains were so badly decomposed that DNA testing needed to be done to confirm that it was indeed her child, she told News24.
When the body was retrieved, he was still wearing the little red pants he had worn at the time of his disappearance.
Lucas said the most precious possession she had was a pair of navy blue socks with white stars - the only unwashed clothing she has of Orderick.
"It probably sounds strange, but I smell it and I think of him. I remember his funny little walk and how he waddled like a penguin. I was still teaching him how to jump, because he couldn't lift his body off the ground on his own," she laughed.
"He was my busy little man, always butting into people's conversations and speaking his own little language. I miss him."