Mnguni says seeing her son's body has damaged her mentally

'Killer' nanny's story does not add up, mom tells court

The mother of Langelihle Mnguni said in court Celina Tsabane, 39, had fed her one-year-old rat poison.
The mother of Langelihle Mnguni said in court Celina Tsabane, 39, had fed her one-year-old rat poison.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

The mother of one-year-old Langelihle Mnguni from Daveyton on the East Rand, who was allegedly killed by his nanny last year, says her mind would never function the same after discovering her son's body. 

Lerato Mnguni told the Benoni magistrate's court yesterday that the nanny's story of what happened to her son did not add up.

"I still need answers. Everyday I ask myself what might have happened to my son, why him and why me?"  she said.

The mother was speaking during cross-examination by Tebogo Maimela, the lawyer of murder-accused Celina Tsabane.

Maimela asked Mnguni why she had speculated that the 39-year-old nanny had fed her child ant-killing powder. 

"I know that she killed my child because she claimed they were both poisoned by burglars that came into the house but she did not die from the poison, only he died," said Mnguni.

Pathologist Dr Fortunato Beccia testified in court that reports showed that the child died of strangulation, suffocation and a fracture on the neck.

Mnguni said she didn't even remember how she had given her statement to the police. "My mind does not function well. I am very disturbed and I would like to refresh my memory and read my statement again," she said.

"I knew the investigation officer had taken the nanny's phone so I asked him to open it and check if we could not find some answers."

She said she and Sihle Tshabalala, the father of the child, together with the investigation officer, discovered that Tsabane had sent WhatsApp messages to her sister related to the killing of the child. 

However, the messages could not be read out in court although they had already been interpreted. 

Prosecutor Adv Salame Scheepels said the state had found a Sesotho interpreter who would be available at a later stage. 

Scheepels said the contents of the messages were from screenshots taken from Tsabane's phone .

Mnguni said Tsabane was found half-naked by her aunt who was first to enter the house. 

"She claimed that the three men that attacked her attempted to rape her after forcing her to drink a liquid-like concoction that she claimed to be a poison."

The matter was postponed to Thursday.

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