mom takes own life

Elisha Molefe

Elisha Molefe

A 39-year-old woman in North West has hanged herself - a week after she was charged with the concealment of a birth.

The body of Asnat Ndlovu of Bodibe village near Lichtenburg was discovered by her three-year-old son hanging from the rafters of their bedroom last Friday.

Eye witnesses said she used a scarf to hang herself.

Police said Ndlovu had unlawfully buried her one-day-old daughter in her garden.

Itsoseng police spokesman Captain Lebogang Mokgothu said a neighbour became suspicious after Ndlovu failed to explain the abscence of the baby two weeks after it was born.

"The badly decomposed body of the baby was exhumed and the mother was charged," he said.

Police were still waiting for postmortem results.

Ndlovu is survived by five children and her mother.

A neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said Ndlovu told her that she had decided to bury the child in the yard because her family could not afford to pay a funeral undertaker.

"She used a white sheet to cover the tiny body before she buried her," she said.

She could not explain why Ndlovu committed suicide.

"We don't know if she was afraid to go jail or was remorseful because she did not leave a note to explain why she took her own life," said the neighbour.

Local councillor Stan Spele appealed to the community to help rebury the baby.

"A local undertaker has donated a coffin. What we need is food and wood," said Spele.

Last year another woman from the same village was charged with concealment of a birth after she also illegally buried her daughter.

Malekgoa Mokae had said her family could not afford a decent funeral so she asked her father to help her to bury the child in a donkey kraal.

Mokae and her father were charged but the case is still pending because police are still waiting for postmortem results.