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Cape Town - A young mother was sentenced to 10 years in prison for slitting her newborn baby’s throat, placing him in a plastic bag and putting him among rubbish.
On Wednesday, Lumka Jordan, 26, was sentenced in the Western Cape High Court after having pleaded guilty to charges of murder and concealment of birth.
Jordan was found guilty of murdering her newborn baby “by partially decapitating him with a knife or sharp object” and dumping the body in the Never Never informal settlement in Philippi.
On Wednesday, presiding Judge Thandazwa Ndita told Jordan to stand up and said: “You will undergo a term of 10 years on both counts, which will be treated as one.”
Jordan arrived at court handcuffed and shackled, with a scarf covering her head.
Judge Ndita said the manner in which the baby was killed was “shocking and horrifying to the community”.
Jordan kept her head low as Judge Ndita told how events had unfolded. The court heard that on July 19, the baby was discovered.
According to the post-mortem report, the baby had suffered trauma during the partial decapitation.
The baby had not yet reached full term, and had been born five months premature.
A doctor had testified that a “sharp instrument must have been used to sever the neck”, and that Jordan must have used force.
Jordan, who had been pregnant with her third child in 2011, said she had been afraid to tell her parents and already had two other children.
The father of the child had refused to take care of or responsibility for the baby. She added that she was struggling financially.
Jordan was unsuccessful in approaching an abortion clinic and had visited a sangoma, who had given her a mixture to drink.
The court took into account that Jordan was a young woman, had two other children, had spent 18 months in custody, had pleaded guilty to the charges and also that socio-economic factors played a role.