Mom gets 11 years for setting son on fire
A mother who killed her nine-year-old son for smoking has been sentenced to 11 years in jail.
The 37-year-old from Delft in Cape Town caught her two sons with cigarettes in May last year and drenched them in paraffin.
Her eldest son escaped but she set the other alight.
He sustained third-degree burns to 90% of his body and died at the Red Cross Hospital six weeks later.
Handing down sentence in the Cape Town High Court yesterday, Judge Vincent Saldanha said the nine-year-old's dream of becoming "a doctor" had been denied.
Reports from various social workers and clinical psychologists showed that the mother suffered from depression and had attempted suicide twice. Her mother abused and neglected her as a child, and she was also kicked out of her home when she fell pregnant at 16.
"[The deceased] and his brother were much loved and spent most of their time playing soccer in the confines of the family home," said Saldanha.
The mother was apparently very strict and highly protective of her sons, whose smoking upset her.
She was convicted of murder and attempted murder.
Her surviving son is in foster care pending a Family Court inquiry.
Saldanha ordered that the mother undergo counselling while in prison.
He also ruled that the Department of Social Services in the Western Cape must ensure that her surviving son receives counselling.