Teen mom arrested for burying her two-year-old daughter in a shallow grave
Johannesburg - A 19-year old woman who allegedly killed her 2-year-old daughter and buried her in a shallow grave has been arrested in Mpumalanga. The woman had told people in the community that the child was in Lesotho.
The woman allegedly strangled the baby with a towel.
But two months after the child was buried in the shallow grave, a teenager who was tilling the earth to plant potatoes in the garden at home, saw what looked like a human skull buried under the soil.
Police were called to the scene. The body was exhumed and the mother allegedly confessed that those were the remains of her child.
She was arrested and appeared at the Embalenhle Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, where she was charged with murder. She was expected back in court next week.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the teenager's 13-year-old nephew made the discovery last week when he was preparing to plant potatoes.
He called his uncle who then called the police upon the gruesome discovery.
Hlathi said police later confirmed that what was buried under the soil was a human skull
"They then summoned the forensic team of the police to the scene where the rest of the human remains were found buried in a shallow grave in the garden."
Hlathi said police immediately conducted preliminary investigations which revealed that the 2-year-old daughter of the boy's aunt had not been seen by the family since December last year.
"It later surfaced that the skeletal remains could possibly be those of her daughter. Police then traced the 19-year-woman, who is alleged to be the mother and enquired about the whereabouts of her daughter.
"She informed police that her child went for a family ritual ceremony in Lesotho. However, she later confessed that she killed her daughter and buried her in the backyard garden."
The father of the child, he said, is originally from Lesotho.
General Mondli Zuma, Mpumalanga Commissioner condemned the killing saying it was the third gruesome incident where children were found to have been murdered by their own parents.
"This is yet another sad story of a little defenseless girl whose life was cut short by her own biological mother who was supposed to be loving, protecting and caring. The right to life is enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and no one has any right whatsoever to take another person's life. Such incidents are heart-wrenching.
"Young mothers who feel overwhelmed by such a responsibility or are going through any challenges are encouraged to seek assistance at relevant institutions so as to prevent such incidents," Zuma said.
In September, 25-year-old Mpumalanga woman Zinhle Maditla was sentenced to four life terms for killing her four children aged 8, 7, 4 and 11 months.