Bongiwe Madlala, a 20 year old KZN mom, tried to sell her 19 month old baby through an advert on Gumtree. She was caught and charged with the serious crime of child trafficking.
She was was facing a sentence of life imprisonment or a R100 million fine.
Now the Magistrate Mogwera in Pietermaritzburg, has handed down what some people feel is a slap on the wrist, a suspended sentence and three years under house arrest.
Dumisile Nala, Childline National Executive Officer, talks about Childline's views on the case
As an organisation, we would accept the sentence that was given to this mother, of course taking into account the circumstances the judge considered as to why she behaved in this way.— Dumisile Nala, Childline National Executive Officer
Nala says the considerations were that the mother herself was under some financial constraints, and the relationship with the alleged father was under strain once DNA tests proved he was not the biological dad.
We need to be clear. The act itself was not acceptable, and i don't think any person would say what she has done was justifiable or understandable.— Dumisile Nala, Childline National Executive Officer
But there are other options, such as placing such a bay in a safe place. Why did she not utilise these?
There are certainly other options available to young people out there and they should be using these services.— Dumisile Nala, Childline National Executive Officer
As organisations working in this sector, are we highlighting these enough? Because we do see a number of children abandoned by parents as early as at birth.— Dumisile Nala, Childline National Executive Officer
Nala questions whether these services are accessible and supportive enough. And concludes they probably are not.
She says that on top of house arrest, it is essential that the mom receives psycho social support from psychologists and social workers.
So she can have a better understanding of her behaviour and the impact it has had on herself, and her little one as well.— Dumisile Nala, Childline National Executive Officer
Nala says that after a long process of therapy and assessment, at some future point it may be possible for the mother and child to be reunited if it is deemed to be in the best interests of the child; and as long as there is long term support thereafter.
Listen to the interview below: