REMORSEFUL PARENTS JAILED FOR DUMPING DEAD BABY
“We made a mistake and we are really sorry for what we did!” trembled Niason Ndlovu, nervously begging Francistown Magistrates Court for mercy on Monday morning.
It was a plea that bore mixed results.
Having admitted dumping their baby’s corpse down a mineshaft, the 26-year-old Zimbabwean and his girlfriend, Lesedi Seleka, 29, were sentenced this week.
Desperately seeking her freedom, Seleka told court she has two minor children who depend on her.
“I have an eight-year-old child and a 19-month-old baby who need my care. I am also an orphan and I will not repeat what we did,” promised the Matsiloje native, her voice quivering with emotion.
Like her boyfriend, it was a plea that bore mixed results.
Facing a possible two-year jail sentence for hindering the burial of a dead body, the lovers were handed one-year prison terms.
Although Ndlovu has been locked up since his arrest on 28 May while Seleka received bail back in September, the duo’s punishments were not backdated, meaning they will next breathe free air on 23 November 2021.
In her ruling, Magistrate Cele Lebakeng described the couple’s offence as inhumane.
“People bury their loved ones properly!” stated Lebakeng, adding she took into account that both Ndlovu and Seleka were first time offenders.
According to the facts before court, Monageng Thato Seleka was born at Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital ‘sometime’ in March. Roughly two weeks after his birth, he fell ill and died in his parents care.
The lovers panicked and decided to conceal their infant’s death, wrapping his remains in a blanket. Ndlovu and Seleka then took the boy’s body to the abandoned old Francistown Gold Mine, where they dropped the corpse down a shaft estimated to be about 30 meters deep.
They agreed that if anyone asked about the child’s whereabouts, they would say he was staying with Ndlovu’s relatives in Zimbabwe.
However, their plan proved unsuccessful and suspicious neighbours soon alerted the police.
Called in for questioning, the duo quickly caved in under interrogation and led the cops to their baby’s corpse on 28 May.
Due to the state of Monageng’s decomposed remains, police estimated his tiny body could have been festering at the bottom of the shaft for as long as 48 days.
Indeed the postmortem was unable to establish cause of death because of ‘mummification’.