The decomposed remains of a two-week-old baby boy were found dumped at the bottom of a deep pit at Old Francistown Gold Mine last Thursday.
Police were led to the gruesome scene by the infant’s parents, 29-year-old Lesedi Seleka and her Zimbabwean boyfriend, Niason Ndlovu, 26.
According to Kutlwano Station Commander, Neo Serumola, the couple were arrested following a tip-off from a suspicious neighbour, who noticed the child was missing.
“Upon interrogation, they took us to an old Gold mine where there is a hole about 30 meters deep. Inside was the decomposed, lifeless body of a two weeks old baby!” the top cop told The Voice this week.
“The body was next to a blanket that the couple claims they had wrapped the body with. The record from the hospital shows the woman gave birth to a baby boy in March,” continued Serumola.
Police suspect the baby could have been dumped down the shaft as long as eight weeks ago.
The young lovers appeared before Francistown Magistrates Court on Tuesday facing the slightly unusual charge of hindering the burial of a dead body.
Looking extremely tense, their nerves evident despite the Covid-19 masks covering their faces, Seleka and Ndlovu listened in stony silence as they were told they had a duty to bury their dead baby – a duty they neglected.
In her defence, Seleka told court it was her lover’s idea to dump the body and insisted she had been against the idea.
“I have two other kids in Matsiloje and they stay with my aunt. Niason is the one who put pressure on me so we dump the body,” she told court, glancing timidly at her boyfriend as she spoke.
However, her words failed to move presiding Magistrate, Cele Lebakeng.
“I think you had an input and now you want to shift the blame to Ndlovu. A ga o itse ga mmangwana a tshwara thipa ka fa bogaleng?” rebuked the Magistrate.
Requesting the accused be remanded in custody, the Prosecutor, Sub Inspector Cecilia Nchochi pleaded with court to reserve the couple’s plea, noting that investigations were at initial stage.
“I did not bring the investigating officer as he is at Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital conducting postmortem. Samples are to be taken for analysis and the second accused is a foreigner so we pray they be remanded in custody,” stated Nchochi.
For his part, Ndlovu, who was also charged with entering Botswana through an ungazetted point, chose to remain silent when given the chance to address court
The suspects could face further charges depending on the cops’ investigations.
Meanwhile, both were remanded in custody until their next court appearance, set for 16 June