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Couple gets 20 years for murdering Mpumalanga toddler whose body was never found

Ernest Mabuza Journalist
Fanni Poloane, 31, and Keletso Sesi Maimela, 32, were each sentenced to an effective jail term of 20 years for murdering Maimela's 18-month-old baby girl in 2019. Her body was never found.
Fanni Poloane, 31, and Keletso Sesi Maimela, 32, were each sentenced to an effective jail term of 20 years for murdering Maimela's 18-month-old baby girl in 2019. Her body was never found.
Image: NPA Comminications

A couple that killed an 18-month-old girl in 2019 was on Thursday sentenced to an effective 20 years’ imprisonment each despite the little girl's remains never being found. 

The  Mpumalanga high court sitting in Graskop sentenced Fanni Poloane, 31, and Keletso Sesi Maimela, 32,  after convicting them of murder and defeating the ends of justice.

Maimela is the biological mother of the child and was in a relationship with Poloane. They lived together at Ga-Madiseng Riba Cross in Lydenburg.

The court heard that during September 2019, the pair conspired and took the deceased at night to the mountains around Lydenburg. They immersed the toddler in a bucket full of water with her head facing down until she died. They then threw her body into the bushes and went back to their home.

Maimela's parents had questioned her about the whereabouts of the child and when she and her boyfriend failed to answer, they opened a case with the police. An intense search was launched but the child’s body was never found.

In court, the accused testified against each other. Maimela told the court that Poloane had forced her to kill her baby.

The court said infanticide would not be tolerated and said the family has no closure as the body was never recovered.

The court sentenced each accused to 20 years’ imprisonment for murder and five years for defeating the ends of justice. The court ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

TimesLIVE


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