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'Killer' grannies stay in custody

By unknown | Nov 12, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Riot Hlatshwayo and Given Mahlalela

Riot Hlatshwayo and Given Mahlalela

The two grannies accused of drowning a six-year-old girl for allegedly stealing R2 appeared briefly in a Mpumalanga magistrate's court on Friday.

Sophie Nkalanga, 69, and Idah Mabaso, 70, were not asked to plead on charges of murder when they appeared before magistrate Sivuyisile Sibuyi in the Tonga magistrate's court.

Sibuyi told the two women that the court was reluctant to grant them bail because their lives could be in danger as members of the community were angry about the incident.

They were remanded in custody pending their next court appearance on November 28.

Members of the community had come in large numbers to the court carrying placards, some of which read: "We don't want you back in the community" and "No bail for murderers".

Jabulani Khoza, of Langeloop near Komatipoort where the incident happened about three weeks ago, told Sowetan that the community wanted the grannies to be sentenced to life imprisonment.

"Our children will not be safe from these cruel grannies if they were to be released. We are asking the courts to convict and send them to jail for the rest of their lives," said Khoza.

Another resident, Sibusiso Mathebula, said it was shocking that the grannies, who are known churchgoers, could commit such a horrendous deed.

"Not every Tom, Dick and Harry who shouts the name of Jesus will go to heaven. We thought these grannies were Christians," said Mathebula.

The child, Nomonde Mathebula, 6, who stayed with her grandmother, Nkalanga, was allegedly punched after being accused of stealing R2.

Nkalanga's friend and neighbour, Mabaso, arrived and joined in the assault on the child.

Police said Mabaso allegedly took over from Nkalanga and claimed she was more experienced in "teaching" thieving children a lesson.

Mabaso allegedly put a plastic bag over Nomonde's head and placed her in a basin full of water, where she drowned.

"The child died while screaming for help," said Constable Mzwandile Nyambi.


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