Mother killed, baby stolen

2008-06-26 00:00

A 26-year-old woman will be sentenced next month for the murder of a young south coast mother and the kidnapping of her baby in December 2007.

Hlengiwe Princess Mngoma was convicted by Judge Thumba Pillay on charges of murder and kidnapping, and was due to be sentenced in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

A correctional supervision report was still awaited by the defence yesterday, and sentencing was postponed until July 16.

Mngoma pleaded guilty to stabbing 18-year-old Nokubonga Khuzwayo on December 4 at Amalangeni near Umzinto, and taking away her six-week-old daughter, Owami.

Khuzwayo died in hospital on December 22 of her injuries.

In a statement Mngoma said her crimes were spurred by “depression, desperation, trauma and fear” after she suffered a second miscarriage in August 2007.

Mngoma said her first baby died in childbirth during 2006.

She fell pregnant again in February last year, but in August again miscarried. Her doctor told her that she would not be able to have more children.

“I live in a patriarchal community where a woman who cannot bear children is scorned at, looked down upon and is seen as somebody with no purpose. My boyfriend was eagerly awaiting the birth of our child and I accordingly didn’t tell him about the miscarriage.

“He had blamed me for the death of my first child and I was afraid he would leave me.”

She said she had no one to support her emotionally and became suicidal.

“I did not know what to do and I panicked and out of sheer desperation, I decided to kidnap a child. I chose the period late November, early December, as that would have been the time I would have given birth. Nobody knew that I had miscarried,” she said.

Mngoma said on December 4 she went to the G.J. Crooks Hospital in Scottburgh and met a friend who was accompanied by Khuzwayo and baby Owami.

“I decided that I would kidnap this child,” she said.

Mngoma told how she lured Khuzwayo and the baby away from the hospital by pretending she knew a place to obtain baby milk powder at a good price.

In a sugar cane plantation, she stabbed Khuzwayo several times and when she fell to the ground, she took Owami and fled.

“I proceeded to my boyfriend’s residence where his family was ecstatic to see the baby.”

According to the state’s indictment, police arrived and took Owami from Mngoma the next day.

Khuzwayo, who had been spotted lying injured by a passerby, was taken to G.J. Crooks Hospital and later transferred to Port Shepstone hospital where she died.

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