Young mom charged with killing her infant

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

An unemployed single mother accused of killing her baby because of poverty appeared in the Zwelitsha magistrates' court yesterday.

Police spokesman, Captain Thozama Solani, said Lungiswa Tuku, 23, from Qongqotha Administrative Area outside King William's Town, Eastern Cape allegedly strangled her one-month-old son last Wednesday.

Solani said it is alleged that Lungiswa Tuku was unable to buy food and clothes for the baby, and this drove her to kill her child.

"People became suspicious when the baby disappeared," Solani said.

She said the suspect was allegedly also infuriated because the father could not take care of their child. The father had relocated to Port Elizabeth to look for work.

Tuku was arrested last Saturday after she showed the police where she had hidden the body.

She also has another one-year-old child.

"We will visit the suspect's family with social workers to see how they can be assisted," said Solani.

Solani said the woman was getting a child support grant for her first child.

Social Development Department spokesman, Gcobani Maswana, said there were many government programmes to alleviate poverty.

"I don't want to judge this particular case, but it's very unfortunate that a person can do such a thing at this time in South Africa," he said.

Asked if the incident was not due to the lack of communication between the government and rural communities, Maswana said izimbizo were held in various areas to ensure that communities understood government programmes.