Mbombela - An Mpumalanga mother accused of trafficking a 17-month-old baby from Mozambique has told a magistrate she did it to create a better future for the baby.
Rejinah Ndlovu, of Mbombela, pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking when she appeared in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Wednesday.
Magistrate Vanessa Joubert sentenced her to five years in jail, suspended for five years.
In her plea, Ndlovu said she committed the offence on November 29 2012 driven by love, and with the help of two other people. She wanted to raise the baby as her own, because her parents were struggling to raise her.
She was arrested on December 12 2013 for illegally bringing the baby girl into SA.
“But I did it for the sole purpose of raising the child in a healthy and successful environment and to create a better future for her,” Ndlovu said.
Joubert said the court was satisfied that she pleaded guilty and accepted responsibility for the crime.
A minimum 10-year jail sentence was imposed for human trafficking. In the case of human trafficking for sexual purposes, the minimum sentence was life, Joubert said.
She agreed with her defence’s request to impose a suspended sentence because she did not mean to harm the child.
Normally, people convicted of violating children’s rights were declared unfit to work with children. Ndlovu did not pose a danger to children and Joubert said she would not take away this right.