Abandoned child: mother to go for mental checkup

2010-12-31 00:00

A 41-YEAR-OLD woman who faces a charge of child abandonment for allegedly leaving her three-year-old son, Njabulo, unattended at a property in Burger Street on October 26, is expected to undergo a period of mental observation next year.

Fikile Nala, who does not have a fixed abode, was examined by a district surgeon yesterday who recommended that she be admitted for mental observation.

Nala indicated at her first court appearance in November that she wished to plead guilty to the charge, but later changed her mind and said she will plead not guilty.

She is represented by legal aid.

The case has been postponed to January 27 pending a decision by the director of public prosecutions and to make arrangements for Nala to undergo mental observation when a bed becomes available at Fort Napier hospital.

The Witness learned that the incident took place outside a shelter for abused women in Burger Street where Nala once stayed. It is alleged that she had gone there on the day in question and wanted to return but the shelter was unable to take her back.

That night a field worker heard a child crying outside the shelter and found the boy at the gate.

She brought him inside and he spent the night at the shelter.

According to a source, Nala went back to the shelter the next day to look for her son, but he had by then already been removed by the police.

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