HIGH COURT OF SWAZILAND
Case No. 68/2004
S.B. MAPHALALA – J
the Crown MR. FAKUDZE
the Accused MRS E.T. MABUZA
Welfare Officer in loco parentis
have been charged with the crime of murder in that upon or about the
31st August 2003, and at or near Mantenga area in the Hhohho region,
you wrongfully and unlawfully killed Dion Vermaark,
have already found you guilty of the crime of culpable homicide in
this case. What remains for me is to impose a sentence which would be
appropriate in the circumstances of the accused person, and also one
which meets the expectations of the society. Before doing that I wish
to commend the Social Welfare Officer who is in loco parentis for the
accused for a job well done. Mrs Mabuza has made very helpful
submissions in mitigation of sentence for the accused person.
is a very sad case where a mother has killed her own child in these
circumstances. The mother was 16years at the time of the occurrence
of the offence and was also a child herself. This incidence will
haunt her for the rest of her life and this would be a punishment in
itself. The society would also label her a killer and this unsavoury
stigma will be with her for a very long time. This would also be a
punishment in itself.
accused is a juvenile, who was adopted by her step-parents and left
school at Standard V because her parents could not afford to take her
further. The circumstances leading to the death of the child also
show that she was disturbed. In mitigation the accused has apologised
to the whole nation for what she has done and also for insulting her
step-parents in this way.
have taken all these factors into consideration and 1 am of the
considered view that a suspended sentence would be appropriate in the
case of the accused. The accused has already served a number of
months in custody and in my view she must have learnt a lesson.
the circumstances of the accused I sentence her to 5 years
imprisonment and the whole sentence is suspended for a period of 3
years on condition that the accused is not convicted of an offence in
which violence is an element committed during the suspension.