Two years after the death of her five-year-old son, Cindy-Lee Jansen has pleaded guilty to his murder and child neglect.
Jansen and her boyfriend, Marco Rudolf Barnard, entered into a plea bargain in the High Court in Pretoria for Anthony’s murder. Barnard pleaded guilty to culpable homicide for his part in the boy’s death.
The Skeerpoort, North West, couple, were arrested a few hours after they handed themselves in to the Hartbeespoort police. Anthony died two days after he turned five in 2012.
The couple were denied bail twice last year, and the trial was postponed a few times, which had the defence team asking that the case be thrown out of court, for lack of progress.
After their November 2012 arrest, for abusing the little boy and eventually killing him, the State alleged the couple had denied the boy and an older sibling food and care, and had locked them up in the house for long periods.
The children were also denied medical care, the State claimed.
Jansen and Barnard are alleged to have repeatedly assaulted the boys, with Anthony dying of head injuries, an autopsy report said.
Anthony also had multiple bruises and cigarette burns on his body, and, according to the report, there was an indication that he had been beaten heavily several times.
Judge Mahomed Ismail on Tuesday accepted the plea bargain, and said: “This is a very serious offence, which unfortunately resulted in the loss of a young boy’s life.”
He said the documents submitted to him on the case were detailed, and in postponing sentencing to Thursday he said: “Therefore I cannot simply shoot from the hip. Judgment will be given on Thursday.”
Anthony died in the couple’s house on November 6, 2012.
Jansen’s other two children, aged four months and seven, were removed from the house and handed to social workers after their arrest.
The autopsy report said there was evidence that Anthony had fallen unconscious several times in front of his mother shortly before his death. Reports from the initial stages of the case showed the mother said later that she had not taken him to the doctor because they wanted to wait until the bruise marks on his body had healed.