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5-DAY-OLD BABY’S MOUTH, NOSE COVERED WITH TAPE

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MBABANE – A five-day-old baby died tragically when her mother covered her nose, mouth and ears with duct tape and dumped her in a pit-latrine.

The mother of the newborn, Lindelwa Zethu Dlamini (29) of KaMkhweli under Chief Mkweli, was charged with murder for the death of her daughter. Lindelwa is alleged to have told one Mhlonipheni Dlamini of Nyetane in Big Bend that she had a miscarriage. She is alleged to have also told him that she had left the baby at her (baby’s) parental home. Mhlonipheni, who is one of 13 witnesses to testify in Lindelwa’s trial, is alleged to have ordered her to go and fetch the baby because she was too young to be separated from her mother. He alleged that he later learnt that Lindelwa had disappeared from home. According to the summary of evidence, Mhlonipheni is alleged to have called Lindelwa and she informed him that she would not reveal the whereabouts of the baby because she was afraid to do so.

Admitted

“While at his homestead, the witness was approached by the accused (Lindelwa) in the company of police officers. The accused admitted to this witness to have delivered and murdered the baby. The accused voluntarily led the witness and police officers to a pit-latrine where she had dumped the baby,” reads part of the summary of evidence. According to Mhlonipheni, the baby was covered in duct tape on the mouth, nose and ears. One of Lindelwa’s uncles is expected to tell the court that she disappeared from home and when they looked for her, concerns were raised about her having delivered but had not been seen with a baby. The uncle is expected to tell the court that when the baby’s body was retrieved, it was covered with duct tape on the face. Lindelwa allegedly admitted to her uncle that she had killed the baby after she was abandoned by the father and dumped the body in a pit-latrine.

Evidence

A witness of Hluti is expected to tell the court that Lindelwa once came to her homestead looking for one Peter, who was allegedly the father of the baby. The witness, according to the summary of evidence, is expected to submit that Peter allegedly failed to support the baby. “The accused further informed the witness that she did not know where to keep the child as she wanted to go to work. The witness urged the accused to keep the child as she was still of a tender age and that she would assist support her,” reads the summary of evidence. The father of the baby, Peter, is among the witnesses to testify in the matter. According to his summary of evidence, he had a relationship with Lindelwa and she fell pregnant. He alleged to have supported her throughout the pregnancy until she informed him that she was due to deliver. He is alleged to have given her E500 when she went to give birth at Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital.

Discharged

He alleged that when Lindelwa was discharged from hospital, she allegedly demanded more money to settle her hospital bill. Lindelwa allegedly arrived at their rented flat at Eteni in Matsapha, angry that Peter had failed to give her money to settle the hospital bill. She is alleged to have wanted to leave the baby with him and he gave her E200. He is said to have ordered her to proceed to Hluti so that his mother would assist her with the baby. The matter is pending in the High Court. In September 2020, a two-year-old girl was found dead and her body wrapped in duct tape and stuffed in a plastic bag near Mavuso Trade and Exhibition Centre in Manzini. Witnesses who were found at the scene at the time informed this publication that a woman had been seen carrying a child on her back. This was according to some men who had been working near Mavuso around 4:30pm. A source said the child was crying hysterically. “Men being men, they shouted at the woman to mind the child. She reacted by scolding the crying minor to be quiet. She also threatened to beat up the child if she continued crying,” the source alleged.

Abandoned

The informer said the woman walked towards an abandoned house near Mavuso. She is said to have first hesitated to enter the house. The source said the men took little notice of the woman, but noted that she had entered the structure. “After a couple of minutes, the men saw the woman emerging from the house without the child,” the source narrated. Out of curiosity, the source said some of the men rushed to the abandoned structure. Inside the incomplete structure, the source said the men found a huge plastic bag. When they opened it, the source said, the men made the gruesome discovery. “The little body had masking tape wrapped around both legs and her whole face. Their immediate reaction was to look for the woman. Unfortunately, she had disappeared,” the source said. They said they called the police and the child’s body was transported to hospital where she was certified dead on arrival. The mother of the child was arrested at Fairview a day later after police received a tip-off. Around the same period, a 28-year-old woman was alleged to have poisoned her one-year-old twins.

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: DISPOSABLE NAPPIES
Should government suspend the use of disposable nappies?