High Court Orders Prosecution To Revisit Woman’s Manslaughter Charge

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  • This for causing the death of a toddler in 2021

The fate of a 42-year-old Makaleng woman hangs following the Francistown High Court decision to sanction the charge sheet that charged her for manslaughter to be revisited.

The tables turned for the worst this week in the Francistown High Court for Mpho Maureen Khumalo, who had pleaded guilty for causing the death of her housemate’s one-year-old daughter in April 2021.

With the hope of getting a lenient sentence and fewer years behind bars, Khumalo who is also a mother of one, had pleaded guilty for manslaughter. Her dreams were shattered, when Francistown High court Justice Bashi Moesi sanctioned the charge be revisited.  Khumalo is most likely to be charged for the murder of one-year-old Mitchel Mbise. The case returns to court in August.

According to facts read in court, Khumalo who hails and resides in Makaleng village, in the North East district is said to have taken baby Mitchel into the house for a bath on the afternoon of the 10th of April 2021.

After the bath, Khumalo took Mitchel into the sitting room and left her to crawl around, while she took her Bible and started to read.  Engrossed in reading the holy scriptures, baby Mitchel is said to have crawled towards Khumalo, playfully seeking attention. Gestures and fiddling that irritated Khumalo and made her lose her cool, and she harshly pushed the little girl away.

“She negligently pushed the deceased against the sofa, without realising the danger of doing so. The baby landed on her back, knocking her head against the wooden edge of the sofa which was nearby.”  The knock immediately threw the toddler into unconsciousness and froth started forming in her mouth.

With froth dripping from her mouth, the lifeless baby was rushed to Makaleng clinic, where she was found not to be breathing. Immediately she was whisked to Masunga Primary hospital where she was declared dead on arrival, prompting a report to be made to the police.

Five days later a post mortem examination indicated the toddler’s immediate cause of death was due to “abusive head and body injuries. Injuries sustained during the fall.”

It was the post mortem report that triggered Justice Moesi to direct prosecution to revisit the charge.

“The report indicates the child was abused. And abuse is intentional. Pushing the minor is a negligent act which is also unlawful. I suggest prosecution revisits the charge”, said Justice Moesi.

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