Senwametsi's name to be entered in the children offenders list

Carletonville crèche caregiver given five years for assaulting toddlers

Nellie Senwametsi, the caregiver who assaulted three minors at a Carletonville crèche was sentenced to five years imprisonment in the Oberholzer magistrates court.
Nellie Senwametsi, the caregiver who assaulted three minors at a Carletonville crèche was sentenced to five years imprisonment in the Oberholzer magistrates court.
Image: Tankiso Makhetha

 Nellie Senwametsi, the Carletonville crèche caregiver who was found guilty of assaulting three minors under her care, has been sentenced to five years imprisonment. 

Magistrate Jan Steyn handed down the sentence in Oberholzer magistrate's court on Wednesday. Steyn further declared Senwametsi unsuitable to work with children and her name will be entered in the children offenders list. 

Senwametsi, 42, was found guilty on two counts of common assault and one count of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm after she attacked the minors at the Ninnies Neurons Nursery last year. 

In handing down the sentence, Steyn said he deviated from the prescribed minimum sentence because Senwametsi was remorseful and intended on apologising to the families but was denied access to them due to bail conditions imposed. 

Earlier, the court heard that one of the minors who was assaulted has become a “problem child” and is now aggressive.

This is according to prosecutor Adv Juliette Makgwatha, who argued for a direct imprisonment sentence for Senwametsi who was caught on camera. 

“The four-year-old was potty trained before the incident but he is wetting himself. He has become aggressive and his teacher said he is a problem child who bullies other children,” Makgwatha said. 

Makgwatha was speaking in reference to a victim impact report that was submitted in court but was not read out. 

In relation to another minor victim, Makgwatha said: “The 18-month-old toddler was described as happy, bubbly and warm. She loved people but she is now withdrawn and reserved. She doesn’t want to be touched on her head because of the assault. All is not well with these children and their parents have to work harder to deal with the stress this incident has caused them.”

Makgwatha was responding to Anton Fick, Senwametsi’s lawyer. In his argument for mitigating circumstances, Fick pleaded with the court to impose a suspended sentence with correctional supervision. 

Fick argued Senwametsi showed remorse by pleading guilty to the offences and this spared her victims the trauma associated with testifying in court and reliving the ordeal. 

He said Senwametsi was also willing to provide evidence that could lead to the prosecution of others in relation to the matter. 

“She wanted to contact the families in order to apologise for her actions but she could not do that because her bail conditions prohibited this act. She did not waste the court’s time and admitted to her offence,” Fick said. 

He argued that no long-lasting physical injuries were reported and that the children will recover from the emotional distress caused by the incident. 

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