Keroshini Paltu
2 minute read
23 Jun 2018
7:03 pm

Domestic worker hides dead baby in basket

Keroshini Paltu

A KZN family was horrified to find their domestic worker’s dead baby wrapped in a plastic bag and hidden in a washing basket earlier this month.

Image courtesy Thinkstock

Phindile Phumgula (24), confessed to killing her newborn baby by stuffing paper and her fingers down the baby’s throat moments after its birth, Maritzburg Sun reports.

Phumgula said that she kept the body in a plastic bag in a washing basket for more than eight days.

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Phumgula appeared briefly in the Howick Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, where she was remanded in custody pending a bail application.

Describing in graphic detail how she killed the baby, Phumgula, from Mpophoweni, said in her confession presented to court that she had gone into labour at around 3am at her employer’s home on June 3. Fearing her employers would discover she was giving birth, she called the baby’s father for help but he refused to assist her, and she then became angry.

“I became very angry after the father and I quarrelled. I gave birth shortly thereafter. The baby cried and I took newspaper and pushed it into the child’s mouth, closing the mouth. I was very angry with the father and I did not want my employers to find out I had given birth as I was afraid of them.

““I had decided to kill the child as soon as it was born. The idea came into my mind so I put the newspaper in the mouth of the baby, down the throat with my fingers, and the child stopped crying and moving. The baby died. I then took a plastic bin bag and put the child in it with the newspaper into a washing basket. I changed into clean clothes and went back to sleep,” said Phumgula.

She said the baby was in the basket in her room for about eight days before she left to visit her parents at their home on June 11.

“I went home and left the baby in the washing basket in my room. I did not want to take the dead baby with me to my parental home,” she said.

She said while she was at her parents’ home, she received a call from her employer and agreed for them to send someone to fetch her.

Upon her return to her employer’s home, she said a gathering of people confronted her about the baby and she admitted to the murder after they allegedly assaulted her.

Phumgula claimed she killed the baby because she was depressed and had financial constraints.

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