Ballito mother jailed for drowning her 4-year-old daughter in a bucket of water

A Ballito woman who drowned her daughter in a bucket of water in April 2022 has been jailed following her guilty plea.

A Ballito woman who drowned her daughter in a bucket of water in April 2022 has been jailed following her guilty plea.

Published Jun 28, 2024


A 47-year-old Ballito woman who was found guilty of drowning her four-year-old daughter in a bucket of water has been sentenced to an effective 18 years in jail.

The woman, who cannot be identified because she has another minor child, was sentenced in the KwaDukuza Regional Court on Friday.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed the woman pleaded guilty to the murder of her daughter.

The incident took place in April 2022.

“In her plea, the woman said that she lived with her husband, who was a hospital administrator who travelled to various countries in Africa, and the girl (deceased) who was their child,” said KZN NPA spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara.

“The woman said that they accompanied her husband on his travels. She said that at some point her husband terminated his contract but was still expected to travel out of the country, but less frequently.”

Ramkisson-Kara said the accused said during this time, she became severely depressed and wanted to take her own life.

“She said that the reason for her depression was that she missed her son (from a previous marriage) who lived with his father, and she said that she was sad about her husband being away.”

The NPA said the accused told the court that she had suffered from depression for many years, which started with the postpartum depression she experienced when her first son was born.

In her plea, the woman said on the morning of April 26, 2022, she was alone with the girl, as her husband was away.

“After breakfast, while the girl watched TV, the woman planned to take her own life by drinking benzene together with sleeping tablets.

“She said that she felt she could not leave the girl behind with no one to take care of her. So she fetched two buckets, filled them with water, tied the girl's hands and drowned her in the buckets of water.

“The woman said that she intended to kill the girl and knew that what she was doing at the time was unlawful.

“After killing the girl, she took several sleeping tablets and drank the benzene.

“When she woke up later in the day, she phoned the landlord and her husband and told them that she had killed her child.”

She was subsequently arrested.

The NPA said a victim impact statement handed to the court outlined the victim’s father anguish.

“In his statement, the man said that his daughter was killed in a cold-hearted manner. He said that he is emotionally drained as he is very close to his daughter. He misses cooking her favourite meals for her and spending time with her.”

In another case this week Lauren Dickason, a South African woman who killed her three young daughters in New Zealand, was sentenced to 18 years in a mental healthcare facility.

The 43-year-old medical doctor killed her daughters six-year-old Lianè, and two-year-old twins, Maya and Karla on September 16, 2021, just weeks after the family emigrated.

The court found that Dickason’s actions were a product of her mental disorder.

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