Baby X: after four years justice served
Judge tells court sentence is ‘fair’ while community hopes it will serve as ‘deterrent’
THE mother of abused Chatsworth toddler Baby X, who died in 2014, was sentenced to an effective 20-year prison sentence in the Durban High Court on Thursday.
The 34-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identities of her surviving minor children, was found guilty of 11 charges. The charges included assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, murder, and child abuse related to the two other children. Baby X, 3, of Havenside, was declared dead at her home on November 20.
Judge Mohini Moodley ruled that the sentences must run concurrently.
Dr Sibusiso Ntsele had previously told the court that the cause of death was “blunt-force trauma following fatal child abuse”.
During the trial, it emerged that Baby X had been burnt with cigarettes on her private and other parts of her body, was battered, had chilli powder placed in her nappy, was bound with rope, and starved.
The court learnt that her then 11-year-old brother and 8-year-old sister were also victims of child abuse.
Both children were forced to “hustle” (beg) in the Durban CBD.
The woman’s mother, who was also charged with murder, child abuse and sexual assault, died of natural causes earlier this year, while awaiting trial in Westville Prison.
Judge Moodley thanked senior State prosecutor Cheryl Naidu and defence advocate Murray Pitman for assisting her in arriving at a decision that she thought was fair.
Chatsworth community activist Brandon Pillay, who was instrumental in ensuring Baby X was given a dignified funeral, shared with the court the community’s shock over the matter.
Addressing to the media outside court, he applauded the sentence handed down. “After four years, justice has been served. I can’t say I am happy, as an innocent child’s life was taken, but this will serve as a deterrent to others who think they can get away with the abuse of a child.” in Shongweni on October 29, 2014.
Her throat had been slit and she suffered facial injuries.
Nkosi and Matseke had been on the run for six months before they were arrested.
Naidu’s husband Seelan, who died in 2016 while awaiting trial, was allegedly the mastermind behind the murder.