Village head & wife kill baby

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Whinsley Masara,Chronicle Reporter
A TSHOLOTSHO village head and his wife allegedly helped their daughter to give birth to a child whom they strangled and buried in a shallow grave because it was a disgrace that the woman had been impregnated by a herdboy.

Vijular Mlilo (69) of Dikili area and his wife Nsima Vundla (47) assisted Shemayi Mlilo (19) to deliver last Friday and then allegedly killed the new-born baby.

The couple allegedly said the father of the new-born was a “mere” herdboy, hence a disgrace to the family.

Shemayi was allegedly impregnated by their neighbour’s herdboy who was only identified as Washington.

When Washington was allegedly notified of his child’s sudden death, he suspected foul play, prompting him to report the matter to the police.

Tsholotsho Ward 16 councillor, Patrick Ngwenya, said he had since engaged the police after villagers complained that it appeared no action was being taken when a report had been made.

“Villagers approached me, fuming over the community leader’s behaviour. They are demanding that the law must take its course,” he said.

Mr Ngwenya said it was alleged that when Shemayi went into labour last week, both her parents assisted her to deliver secretly.

“One villager who saw Shemayi no longer looking pregnant on the following day, quickly informed Washington who contacted her and she confirmed having given birth to a baby boy,” said Mr Ngwenya.

He said Washington quizzed the woman about the whereabouts of the baby and was not convinced by the explanation that he was given and he reported the matter to the police.

Mr Ngwenya said it has since emerged that Shemayi delivered the baby at home and her mother ordered her to kill the new born as she left for the fields.

“Shemayi chickened out until her mother returned from the fields and found the baby alive. She and her husband ordered Shemayi to leave them in her bedroom where they allegedly strangled the baby. The two then waited for Shemayi’s return before digging a shallow grave in their yard and burying the baby,” he said.

Mr Ngwenya said the community was shocked by the couple’s conduct considering their ages and the husband’s status.

“How can a community leader indulge in such cruel activities, how then will he guide the community? Villagers are angry and are demanding that police officers of a higher rank look into the matter and have such people thrown into jail where they belong. I have personally communicated with the police and are looking forward to see justice being served,” he said.—@winnie_masara