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90 days’ hard labour for strangling baby

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A woman from Zhilo village in Esigodini, who was impregnated by a local married man, gave birth to a baby boy, strangled him and threw the corpse into the bush in an attempt to conceal her crime, has been sentenced to 90 days in jail with hard labour.

Thubelihle Nkala (25) pleaded guilty to contravening section 48 (1) (b) Chapter 9:23 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act when she appeared before Esigodini magistrate Lungile Ncube.

The magistrate sentenced her to an effective 90 days in jail. The prosecutor, Nhlanhla Ndlovu, told the court that on August 24 this year, Nkala gave birth to a bouncing baby boy while she was alone at her home.

Agreed facts were that Nkala was impregnated by a married man who allegedly advised her never to mention his name concerning the pregnancy or the child when it was born.

The man is alleged to have threatened to kill Nkala if she ever mentioned him in connection with the pregnancy.

After giving birth, Nkala took a cloth and strangled the baby before taking its corpse and disposing of it in the bush.

The court heard that after dumping the baby, Nkala was seen by locals dancing at a party without any signs of the pregnancy, prompting people who knew her to ask her about it.

Details of her crime emerged after Nkala told people she had dumped the child in a toilet, prompting them to investigate.

Further searches by villagers led to the recovery of the body of the baby from a shallow grave in the bush.

A report was made to the police leading to Nkala’s arrest.

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