Young woman suspected of killing her baby

Sakhile Mokoena

A 20-year-old Mpumalanga woman will appear in court today after being arrested for allegedly killing her two-week-old baby girl and burying her in a shallow grave.

The young woman, from Madras village near Bushbuckridge, will appear in the Mkhuhlu magistrates' court on a charge of murder.

She gave birth to a healthy baby girl at Matikwana Hospital in Mkhuhlu, but friends, relatives and neighbours who saw her come home from hospital with the baby, and who came to congratulate her, became suspicious when they did not see any sign of a baby in her house for more than a week.

They called the police because the woman would lock up her house and go out with her friends without asking anyone to look after the baby.

The mother, whose name is known to Sowetan but cannot be revealed before she appears in court, has no parents and does not know who the father of her baby is.

A friend of the woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "The fact that she lost both her parents and did not know the father of the baby could be causes of what she did."

Described by her friends as "sweet", the woman allegedly killed her baby girl, buried her in her backyard and continued with her fast social life as if nothing had happened.

Another friend said the woman had wanted to have the baby, but, because of her circumstances, decided to kill the child.

The woman's behaviour since her arrest has astounded the police and the community.

When the police dug up the shallow grave that she had pointed out to them, the woman talked and laughed on her cellphone.

She waved to her brother as she got into the police van and said: "Take care of mama's house. I'll be back soon."

A Mopani police spokesman confirmed that the woman is facing a charge of murder.