Over 500 people have signed a petition for the Eerste River hairdresser, accused of murdering 22-month-old Orderick Lucas, to be granted bail.
The bail hearing got underway in the Blue Downs Magistrate's Court on Thursday after several postponements since his arrest two months ago.
The accused, Melvin Volkwyn, smartly dressed in a shirt and waistcoat with his blonde hair neatly coiffed, waved briefly at the public gallery when his case was called after 15:00.
Friends and acquaintances, who had spent the day waiting for the matter to be heard, smiled at him in encouragement as he stood in the dock.
Also in the gallery was Orderick's mother, Volkwyn's former friend Davidene Lucas.
Prosecutor Nathan Adriaanse said the State was opposing Volkwyn's release on bail.
The toddler's murder was registered as a Schedule 5 bail application as the State did not consider the incident premeditated.
Volkwyn's attorney Crystal Paulse read her client's circumstances from an affidavit, in which he stated he was aware that his community was outraged at the offence, but that their anger was directed at the crime and not at him.
"Like them, I would also like to see justice being done," he said.
He intended to plead not guilty to the murder and kidnapping charges.
Paulse told the court that 515 people had signed a petition calling for his release on bail.
Volkwyn had two previous convictions for drug possession and shoplifting, for which he was handed suspended sentences.
He did not venture into the merits of the case against him.
Volkwyn was initially only charged with Orderick's kidnapping. This was changed to murder after the little boy's body was found in a drain near his grandmother's house.
Orderick had lived with his grandmother Cornelia Scheepers in Wittebol Street, Melton Rose, but had been in his mother's care at the time of his disappearance on Sunday, March 24.
Lucas had asked Volkwyn to keep an eye on her son that day. She claimed Volkwyn had told her on the Monday that he had returned the child to Scheepers.
Lucas said it was when she went to visit her son at her mother's house on Thursday, March 28 that she discovered that he had never been returned.
Adriaanse requested a postponement, saying the State had received new evidence during the lunch adjournment.
The matter was postponed to Friday.
Read this report on News24Wire.com.
AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.
Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.
AllAfrica is a voice of, by and about Africa - aggregating, producing and distributing 600 news and information items daily from over 150 African news organizations and our own reporters to an African and global public. We operate from Cape Town, Dakar, Abuja, Monrovia, Nairobi and Washington DC.