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Baby killer mentally ill: Court

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A MENTALLY ill Victoria Falls woman, who beheaded her eight-month-old baby thinking she was killing a hen has been committed to a mental hospital after the judge ruled she had not been in control of her mind at the time of the crime.

Nokuthaba Dlamini
Own correspondent

Justice Lawrence Kamocha ruled on Monday that Louislon Gurajena Siziba’s violent nature was because she suffered from chronic psychotic disorder, a mental illness.

Siziba of Ndlovu village, BH24, and a former patient at Ingutsheni was facing charges of murdering her child Nomawethu Ncube in May.

“Basing from the evidence in court, we are satisfied that Siziba caused the death of her only child,” the judge said.

“However, basing on the doctors and psychiatrist’s findings, the court has concluded that she was suffering from mental illness and, therefore, should not be held legally responsible for the crime according to Section 25 of the Mental Health Act.

“You can tell by the way she beheaded her child and the way she always asks about the whereabouts of her baby, as she states that she thought she was killing a hen.

“The psychiatrist also mentioned that she committed the crimes because of the voices she heard coming from her grandfather, as she also tried to commit another crime while in Hwange prison.”

It was the State’s case that on May 6, Siziba was left at their homestead in Ndlovu by her grandmother Esther Siwela, who had gone to send some money at the nearby shops.

Siziba then took a butcher’s knife and her child and went behind the kitchen, where she stabbed her baby several times before beheading her.

An 11-year-old girl, who was a witness, rushed to call Siwela, but they found Nomawethu lying in a pool of blood, with her head decapitated and Siziba stabbing herself trying to commit suicide, leading to her arrest.

Siziba was referred to Mlondolozi Prison for further treatment and counselling, as she is said to be dangerous to society.

Also appearing before the same judge was a 54-year-old Binga man, accused of causing the death of his three-year-old child after she drank thothotho, an illicit brew.

The court heard that on July 15 Mqapheli Ngwenya’s wife brewed thothotho beer for sale.

On July 20, Ngwenya took a 500ml container and filled it with thothotho before putting it on top of a drum and a 50kg sack of maize in their bedroom hut. On the same day at around 9am, Ngwenya and his wife were notified that their child was vomiting in the bedroom by one of their children.

They tried to give her milk and resuscitate her, but she eventually died.

The medical report proved that she had died due to consumption of 150ml of thothotho, a very dangerous brew, which affects the internal system including the liver.

Justice Kamocha sentenced Ngwenya to six months in prison, wholly suspended on condition he does 211 hours of community service at Chinego Primary school.

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