Tonga - A teenage mother accused of strangling her 18-month-old daughter was released on warning when she appeared in court on Friday.

Nomcebo Mahlalela, 18, of Tsambokhulu Trust near Komatipoort, Mpumalanga, pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder when she appeared in the Tonga Magistrate's Court, a Sapa correspondent reported.

Mahlalela, a Grade 11 pupil at Lebombo High School, was arrested on May 16 after community members grew suspicious when seeing her without her toddler, Faithful Masinga.

It was later found that the child had been strangled and dumped near the Swaziland border.

Prosecutor Frederick Mhelembe told the court that it was not clear why the child was killed.

Magistrate Sibonisiwe Sibuyi released her on warning and postponed the case to July 2 for a trial date to be set.

Sapa