Video shows assault

2015-01-05 00:00

A COUPLE from Welkom have laid a charge of assault against their live-in domestic worker after a video showed her hitting and roughly shaking their seven-month-old baby boy.

Anna-mi Linde (33), a nurse, said she was uneasy after a bad experience with a previous domestic worker and for her own peace of mind wanted to monitor how Mafsehediso Lisbeth Makashea treated her children when she was not at home.

Makashea started working for the couple on December 1.

Anna-mi took her six-year-old daughter with her to town on December 26. She set up a video camera in the sitting room, where she left her son on a blanket in front of the television, asking Makashea to watch him.

When she later looked at the video, she was shocked to see how her son was being assaulted. She called her husband, Org, who called police officers, who arrested Makashea on the video evidence.

The video shows how Makashea mostly lies on the couch, ignoring Nico’s cries. Then she slaps the baby’s head so hard that it hits the floor. She then yanks the baby from the floor onto the couch by his shirt. The boy cries hysterically and she forces a dummy into his mouth.

When he keeps on crying, she yanks him flat onto the couch. She then holds the baby for a few moments against her body, but when he moves, she whacks his nappy.

“My child is not a difficult baby. He eats and sleeps, and is an easy child,” said Anna-mi.

Org (37), an assistant manager at a supermarket, said could also not fathom why their son, Nico, struggled to sleep when he was left in Makashea’s care. “He normally falls asleep easily.”

Org said although Nico did not suffer any bruises, his normally friendly baby suddenly started acting differently.

“He is now aggressive, struggles to sleep and cannot handle sudden loud noises like the vacuum cleaner.”

Anna-mi says she wants justice to take its course. “She [Makashea] is allegedly pregnant and has two children. It makes me wonder how things are in her house. How does she handle her own children if she treats other people’s children like this?”

She said she will never be able to forget the images of her child being hit.

“I blame myself. I trusted her to look after my child … One feels guilty.”

She said their daughter told them Makashea would shout at her, and had once locked her and her baby brother in her room before going out.

“She told her if she told us she [Makashea] was ‘naughty’, she would give them a hiding,” said Anna-mi.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thandi Mbambo, said Makashea appeared in the magistrate’s court in Welkom on December 23 and was released on bail of R1 000. She next appears on January 29.

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