Young mother 'abandons' kids to hang out at Mpumalanga taverns

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A young mother allegedly abandoned her children to hang out at local taverns.
A young mother allegedly abandoned her children to hang out at local taverns.
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  • A Mpumalanga mother allegedly abandoned her three children on Sunday to visit local taverns.
  • The 21-year-old woman has still not returned home.
  • Concerned neighbours called the police, who placed the children in the care of the father of one of them.


A 21-year-old mother of three is being sought by police for allegedly abandoning and neglecting her children while hanging out at taverns in Shatale near Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, the woman left the minors unattended on Sunday.

He said the three children aged 1, 3 and 5 were left alone in the house after their mother said she was going to buy groceries.

READ | 118 newborn babies abandoned at public hospitals in Gauteng since start of 2020 - health dept

Neighbours became concerned when she hadn't returned after it had become dark.

"They then called the woman... but she informed them that she was enjoying herself at a local tavern. She also [told] them that the children were with their father at home," Hlathi said.

On Monday, after residents saw the children lingering around without their mother, they alerted the police.

Phone not answered

Police officers asked the neighbours to assist with the contact details of the mother but her cellphone went unanswered.

Police opened a case of child neglect and have called on anyone with information about the whereabouts of the mother to come forward. The children have been left in the care of the father of one of them.

Police are looking for Zinhle Mathebula who can assist with the investigation.

Anyone who might know her whereabouts or any information about Mathebula, was requested to call Detective Sergeant Macro Makwela at 072 613 2576 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Alternatively, tip-offs can be given on the My SAPS app that can be downloaded to any smartphone. Police have said all information will be treated with confidentiality and callers may opt to remain anonymous.

The police have condemned the incident and a call has been made to the community to take care of their children.

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