News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
15 Feb 2018
8:21 am

Judgment for drowned baby

Ilse de Lange

Chauke suggested that the baby might already have died the previous night, but he didn’t check as he wanted to continue drinking with the mother.

Murder

A Mamelodi man accused of drowning his girlfriend’s six month-old baby daughter in a bucket of urine will hear his fate today.

Prosecutor Bakedi Maoke yesterday argued in the High Court in Pretoria that Mandla Chauke, 29, should be convicted of the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Tebatso Choche’s sixmonth-old baby, Boikgontsho. Choche’s uncle found the baby in Chauke’s shack in a tightly sealed bucket of urine with another bucket full of water placed on top of it.

This was hours after she had fled from the shack. Chauke and Choche had met for the first time the previous day.

She testified that he had bought her clothes and food and taken her to a hair salon before they went to his shack.

She had her baby on her back most of the time. The mother testified that she had fed and changed her baby at the salon and given her porridge before they went to bed.

The baby was still sleeping when she fled the next morning to the police. She had to wait several hours before the police could go with her to Chauke’s shack, but her baby’s body was only found much later because Chauke insisted her uncle had fetched the child.

Chauke suggested that the baby might already have died the previous night, but he didn’t check as he wanted to continue drinking with the mother.

He said he had no idea how the baby ended up in the bucket.

The state argued that it was irrelevant if the baby had drowned or suffocated in the bucket as the lid was on tightly.

The only inference was that he had planned the murder.

The defence said something had happened in the shack and the mother was not telling the court what it was.

The defence also argued that there was no direct evidence that Chauke had killed the baby and questioned why the mother had chosen to stay at the police station for hours.

Baby ‘maybe dead’ before urine bucket – accused

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