Ballito mother 'will plead guilty' to drowning her daughter
The Ballito mother who is charged with murdering her four-year-old daughter by drowning her in a bucket of water intends to plead guilty.
This was revealed in the KwaDukuza magistrate’s court on Thursday when the woman, who cannot be named to protect her 10-year-old child, made a brief appearance after the drowning of her four-year-old on April 26. The child was bound with duct tape.
Prosecutor Paul Nel said a guilty plea agreement was reached between the state and defence. He said the matter had previously been postponed for bail investigation and to obtain DNA samples.
Defence attorney Alistair Janssens asked that the woman be kept at the uMhlali police cells until her next court appearance. He said he was concerned after an article was published in a community newspaper that revealed information “to which the defence was not privy”.
The article attributed information to an “unnamed” police source, who claimed to have information about what had triggered the drowning.
Magistrate Blanche van Heerden echoed the concerns, saying the incident threatened to undermine the criminal justice system.
“We have no idea where the information comes from. It makes me wonder whom this would benefit,” said Van Heerden.
She said the court could not prevent information from entering the media.
Janssens said he had confirmed with the woman’s husband that she had no cases pending against her or previous convictions.
She will make her next appearance on May 13.
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