Action Society spokesperson Dr Rineé Pretorius urged the court to consider the harshest sentence for the mother. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)
Action Society spokesperson Dr Rineé Pretorius urged the court to consider the harshest sentence for the mother. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)

Fury at Cape mom who wanted to pay R5 000 fine for abuse and neglect of child

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Jul 23, 2021

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Cape Town - Activist group Action Society is furious at the request of a Cape Town mother to only pay a R5 000 fine instead of doing jail time, after she was recently convicted by the Parow Regional Court on charges of child neglect and child abuse.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the prosecutor, Colleen de Louw, told the court that the child was rescued on February 20, 2019 by a community member, Deborah Van Rensburg.

“The child had bite marks on her body as well as bruises, abrasions and burn marks. Police were informed and she was taken for medical attention. The two (the mother and her friend) were arrested. After a protracted trial, they were convicted on May 28, 2021,” he said.

De Louw said the two women asked the court to impose a fine as their sentence but she objected to the request and asked for a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

“They were initially charged with attempted murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and rape but they were acquitted on those charges as there was no direct evidence linking them to those charges,” said Ntabazalila.

Action Society spokesperson Dr Rineé Pretorius urged the court to consider the harshest sentence for the mother, even more than the 10 years that had been proposed by the State prosecutor.

“This shocking request that was brought before the court, is just another confirmation that the government is losing its fight against gender-based violence (GBV) and violent crimes against children in our country,” said Pretorius.

The court this week sentenced the mother of a then 2-year-old and her friend, Ursula Pace, to five years imprisonment on the incidents of neglect and abuse which took place in 2019, while they were living in a drug den in Eureka Estate, Elsies River.

Ntabazalila, said the child was put up for adoption and the two women were banned from working with children. Additionally, the mother was declared unfit to own a firearm.

Ravensmead Community Policing Forum spokesperson Zelda Trantraal, said the punishment handed down was ridiculous.

“The judicial system can never justify such a light handed punishment, in a South Africa where GBV is rife,” she said.

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