Regret for mom as toddler is raped and killed by relative
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Durban - Thandeka Mbhele could not have foreseen the rape and murder of her daughter Zama allegedly by a relative. The South Coast mother, 34, had sent her 18-month-old baby to stay with her father.
According to Zama’s stepmother, 27, she left the child in the care of her brother-in-law when she left for work on Tuesday morning.
When she returned with the baby’s father, the suspect told them that the child had fallen and suffered injuries.
However, on inspection, Zama’s stepmother noticed blood coming out of the child’s private parts.
Mbhele said a doctor at the hospital had confirmed that the baby had been sexually molested but was still awaiting the DNA results.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said the suspect was arrested on rape and murder charges last Friday.
Zama died last Tuesday in Ncombe, outside eSikhaleni, in northern Zululand.
The 23-year-old suspect appeared in eSikhaleni Magistrate’s Court on Monday, and the case was remanded.
A large, angry crowd gathered to protest the accused’s bail application.
A distraught Mbhele blamed herself for sending Zama away after she broke up with 26-year-old teacher Sanele, Zama’s father. When asked why she had to send Zama away, she said that “being an unemployed mother, I was concerned about her well-being.
“I also saw nothing amiss by sending her to stay with her father, who promised to take care of her.”
Mbhele said she was shocked to hear that Sanele’s close relative was linked to her child’s death. “He was always a quiet man,” Mbhele said. “I want to look him in the face when he testifies in court to be able to understand his motive for the crime he committed.”