Mother convicted for stabbing infant to death

The Mpumalanga High Court has convicted Phindile Sibiya from Belfast Trust, Bushbuckridge, to 22 years’ of direct imprisonment for murdering her infant and defeating the ends of justice.

Sibiya pleaded guilty to intentionally stabbing her infant and burying her in a shallow grave. Sibiya told the court that during the year 2021, she met a certain man who had visited her homestead in Belfast Trust. The man proposed love to her, and she accepted his proposal as he promised to marry her in the future.

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On their second meeting, they had consensual unprotected sex, and she conceived. Upon realising that she was pregnant, she tried calling the would-be-father to inform him of the pregnancy. His phone was no longer in service until her mother realised that she was expecting. When confronted by her mother, she denied the truth.

Sibiya’s mother threatened her that should it be true, she will chase her away from the house. As it stands, she has two minors whom the fathers are not supporting. Sibiya then went to the clinic to attempt terminating the pregnancy but could not since she was in her last trimester. She then kept her pregnancy a secret until the day of delivery on January 1, 2022. Upon experiencing labour pains, she went to the toilet on two occasions where she passed urine. On the third occasion, she took a pair of scissors with her. She knelt and delivered a female infant whom she immediately stabbed with scissors several times until she died.

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In the morning, her mother noticed blood stains and questioned her. Sibiya admitted having given birth and concealed the death of her baby. She then went to retrieve the body, and they reported the incident to the police.

In aggravation of the sentence, State Adv. Tula Bekwa told the court that the deceased suffered a cold and painful death at the hands of her mother, who was supposed to protect her. A photo album and a post-mortem report, which confirmed that the deceased was born alive, were handed in, including a social work report which proved that the accused is not a candidate for correctional supervision.

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