Zvikomborero Parafini

THE two-day-old baby, who was sold by her mother in Johannesburg, South Africa, shortly after she was delivered, was meant to be trafficked to Australia by the woman who bought her.

It could not be established in court yesterday whether the intention was to sell the baby, again, to some people in Australia.

The grim details emerged after the mother of the child was yesterday sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

The presiding magistrate castigated her for doing something which was abolished when the Slave Trade officially ended.

Grim details of one of the worst deals, a human being can imagine, emerged in court yesterday.

They include plans by the buyer to get the child as far as Australia, even though the mission Down Under was not revealed.

They also include the figure for which the child was sold for, which was R25 000.

The buyer paid a deposit but was given the child and took it from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth using a false name to ensure that she did not have any problems with the police along the way.

Now, the mother of the child, Pauline Maganga, has to spend the next 10 years in prison.

Magistrate Lazini Ncube bemoaned Maganga’s conduct saying, in the modern world, no human being must be sold.

“While these courts are urged to be lenient to first female offenders, the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigatory factors in this case because as the mother of the child, she had the duty to protect her child.

“In the modern world, no human being should be sold because that practice was abolished long back after the Slave Trade and, if she felt she couldn’t take care of the child, she should have given up the child for adoption not to choose the illegal route.

“There were prior plans to commit the crime as there was prior communication before she had even given birth so she knew what she was doing, even joining the WhatsApp group that connected her to the buyer shows that this was a premeditated crime.

“The court has no choice but to impose the mandatory sentence of 10 years,” he said.

The circumstances of the matter are that in May last year, Maganga, who was pregnant, in South Africa, met Janet Marimo, through a WhatsApp group.

The two reached an agreement that Maganga was to sell her baby for R25 000.

On June 24, Maganga gave birth at Far East Rand Hospital, Krugersrus Springs, Johannesburg, South Africa and she informed Marimo, through their usual WhatsApp communication.

Marimo travelled from Port Elizabeth two days later and was handed the baby and its clinic card.

Maganga received part of the payment and the two agreed to feed the baby as Marimo waited for the baby’s birth record.

Maganga however, failed to obtain the birth record.

On July 4, Marimo left Johannesburg for Port Elizabeth, with the baby and booked the bus using Maganga’s name, to avoid being intercepted by the police.

The parties kept communicating as they needed the birth record for the baby as they wanted to process the baby’s travel documents as it was meant to be taken to Australia.

After failing to secure the baby’s documents, Marimo smuggled the baby to Zimbabwe and was later arrested and the baby was taken by the Department of Social Welfare.

After hearing of Marimo’s arrest, Maganga travelled to Zimbabwe to claim her child but investigations revealed that she had declared her child dead a few days after delivery.

A DNA test was conducted and proved that she was the child’s mother leading to her arrest.

Tendai Tapi appeared for the State.

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