Mother sentenced for poisoning baby

2011-10-12 07:05

A woman was sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Pretoria Regional Court after she poisoned her three-month-old baby with pesticide.

Nita Shipalana (21) was sentenced to 15 years, five of which were suspended, yesterday after she entered into a plea bargain with the State, Afrikaans daily Beeld reported.

Shipalana, from the upmarket Cornwall Hill suburb, east of Pretoria, put “two step”, an agricultural chemical pesticide, into her daughter’s porridge after she refused to drink poisoned milk.

Three-month-old Morongwa’s parents took her to the Unitas Hospital in Centurion, Pretoria, after she stared vomiting and struggled to breathe.

The father allegedly said they should hold off going to the hospital “to wait for the poison to start working”. Neither of the parents told doctors the child had been poisoned.

“That could perhaps have saved the child’s life. This was a pre-planned and cold-blooded murder on a defenceless child,” prosecutor Kas Sami-Kistnan told Beeld.

Shipalana admitted guilt after her two older brothers saw the pesticide in the infant’s porridge. They forced her into a car, sitting on either side of her, and drove to the local police station.

She was allegedly angry after her mother told her to take time off from her studies to care for the baby.

The father would be tried on a later date. Shipalana would testify for the State as part of her plea bargain.

In sentencing, the court took into account that Nita Shipalana was a first-time offender and suffered from borderline personality disorder, Beeld reported.

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