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The Livingstone Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a 30-yearold mother to five years simple imprisonment for dipping her daughter’s hand in hot cooking oil for getting a 50 ngwee coin. This is in a case Catherine Kapeshi, a stone crusher, of Ngwenya Township in Livingstone is charged with assault on a child. On June 3, this year, in Livingstone, Kapeshi assaulted her seven-year-old daughter in Ngwenya Township around 13:00 hours, after she discovered that her 50 ngwee coin was missing.

The matter was reported to police by her husband Daniel Zulu, 42, and Kapeshi was later apprehended, charged and arrested. In mitigation, whilst weeping, Kapeshi blamed lack of child support from the father of the child for her anger and assault on the child. “The father of the child has abandoned her and does not support the child, it pains me when he does not care, I was moved by anger,” she said. Kapeshi admitted that she had made a mistake to assault her child and prayed for leniency from the court.

“People of God, I am five months pregnant and I am asking this court to forgive me,” she said. In sentencing Kapeshi, Magistrate Mbololwa Mukela said she had considered her mitigation and that she is a first offender, who pleaded guilty to the charge. “I notice from the mitigation that the father of the children does not give them support.

I don’t know why you should transfer the anger that is meant for the father to the children. They [children] did not choose to be born, they are innocent,” she said. Magistrate Mukela observed that sometimes, children suffer silently for what they don’t know. She said the law has been put in place to protect children through the sentences imposed by courts. “I will sentence you to five years imprisonment with hard labour from the date of your arrest until the High Court confirms your sentence. Appeal to the High Court is allowed in this matter,” she said.

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