Teen mom gets six years in jail for murdering baby

2014-07-17 00:00

A TEEN mother who killed her seven-month-old daughter with a bread knife was sentenced to an effective six-year term yesterday.

Nompumelelo Nyathi (18), a Grade 10 pupil from Muziwezwe High School in Paulpietersburg, was in tears when Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati sentenced her in the high court in Pietermaritzburg.

The judge said she could not comprehend how a person thinking straight could stab a child, “let alone a seven-month-old baby. I can imagine that when you approached her carrying a knife, she might have come closer to you thinking that you were playing with her, yet you were to end her life. She was defenceless and quite vulnerable,” said the judge.

Nyathi had pleaded guilty to murdering her daughter Aphiwe by stabbing her in the chest on May 2. She blamed the child’s father and his family for refusing to assist her, and said she was overwhelmed by circumstances at home, where she was no longer on speaking terms with her grandmother.

Judge Poyo-Dlwati said Nyathi could have taken the child to social workers instead.

“What you did is unforgivable,” she said, adding that she hoped Nyathi would use the time in prison to reconstruct her life and be able to start afresh on her release.

However, she said a message should be sent to other people that their deeds would not be tolerated. “Courts are upper guardians of all children and a stern message is necessary.

“I believe the offence you committed will always haunt you and that on its own is a life punishment,” said the judge.

She then sentenced Nyathi to 10 years’ imprisonment, four years of which were suspended for five years. Nyathi was in tears as she was led out of court.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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