Teen mom guilty of culpable homicide

2015-08-06 20:52

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Mbombela - A young Mpumalanga mother whose 18-month-old daughter died under mysterious circumstances has been found guilty of culpable homicide.

The accused, Nomcebo Mahlalela, 19, of Tsambokhulu Trust near Komatipoort, appeared in the Tonga Regional Court on Thursday.

Magistrate Edgar Moletsane told the court that the murder charge against Mahlalela was changed to culpable homicide when the State failed to produce evidence proving that she had deliberately strangled her baby, Faithful Masinga.

Earlier, Mahlalela's Legal Aid Lawyer told the court: "My client made a sworn statement today [Thursday]... that the death occurred when she was on her way from her grandmother's house. She removed her daughter from her back and set [her] under the tree when she got tired of walking," said the lawyer.

He said his client told him she was playing with her daughter under the tree when an accident happened.

"While we were playing and laughing, she accidentally slipped from my hand and fell head-on against a rock. She could no longer laugh or talk to me anymore," said the lawyer, reading his client's statement.

The court heard that the mother wrapped the baby in a blanket and left her under the tree before rushing home to report the matter to her mother.

The court heard that Mahlalela's mother and uncle went to the scene and found the baby dead. Police were summoned to the scene and she was arrested.

Mahlalela, a Grade 12 pupil at Lebombo High School, was arrested on May 16 last year.

Magistrate Moletsane extended Mahlalela's R1 000 bail and postponed the case to August 27 for sentencing.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  crime

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