Mom jailed for horrific murder of son
Johannesburg - A Tembisa mother who murdered her 5-year-old son and mutilated his body to make it look like a muti murder was on Tuesday jailed for 18 years.
Sentencing Batseba Irene Lekgeu, 27, in the North Gauteng High Court for the November 2008 murder of her son Andile, Judge Vivian Tlhapi said she had taken into account that Lekgeu suffered from a major depressive disorder.
This condition had, to some extent, affected Lekgeu's appreciation of the wrongfulness of her actions.
She had also taken into account that Lekgeu was a first offender and the mother of two young children who still needed her.
It was also not a case where one could say the accused had a propensity for criminal conduct, the judge added.
Lekgeu pleaded guilty to her son's murder and told a psychologist she could not forgive herself for what she did, and wished she was dead.
She never took the stand to testify in her defence.
Blamed her son
In her plea explanation, Lekgeu said she had blamed her son for all her problems because her family had rejected her, as his father was a known criminal.
She also received no support and battled financially.
Her youngest daughter's father refused to marry her because of her son, and she feared he would become a criminal like his father.
Lekgeu admitted wrapping her son in a blanket and taking him to an abandoned house in Nebo, where she stabbed him repeatedly before cutting off his ear and genitals to make it look like a muti murder.
She confessed to police the same day.
Lekgeu's mother, who is now raising her daughter's two young children on a state grant, told the court she had never shunned her grandson, but loved him as he was a good child who enjoyed going to church.
Andile had even reminded them to pack his church clothes when they left to go and see his great-grandmother in Nebo the weekend he was killed.
Tlhapi said she was of the view that the murder had been premeditated, as Lekgeu admitted stabbing her son with a knife she had brought from home with her to Nebo.
The post-mortem report showed it had been a horrific murder, she said.
Andile died of asphyxia due to manual strangulation. He had stab wounds in the chest and abdomen, from which his intestines protruded. His left ear, scrotum and penis were cut off after his death.
The judge said one could only imagine the young victim being strangled by his mother, not knowing why it was happening, and not being able to fight back.
She said the mutilation of the body was an aggravating factor.