A 46-YEAR-OLD woman from Bulawayo allegedly tied up her 11-year-old daughter and poured boiling water on her hands and feet as punishment for failing to cook supper on time.
Sithweleni Ngwenya of Pumula South suburb allegedly lost her temper after finding the minor playing with friends around 7PM instead of cooking.
Ngwenya told Western Commonage magistrate Ms Tancy Dube that she did not know what happened to her daughter and was surprised to hear that her daughter had been taken to hospital.
“I arrived home at around 7PM and there was no electricity at home and there is no way l could have punished my daughter like that when l knew the reason why she had not cooked,” she said.
Ngwenya, who was represented by Ms Caroline Mudenda of Mudenda Attorneys, pleaded not guilty to physical abuse.
Ms Mudenda told the court that the minor could have mistakenly burnt herself while cooking.
“The minor usually cooks food for her two siblings when she gets home from school. She might have burnt herself because when she cooks she stands on top of a chair. There is no way her own mother could have burnt her on purpose.
“On the day in question, Ngwenya got home at around 7PM and there was no electricity. She asked her daughter to gather firewood and that’s all she remembers about that day,” she said.
The prosecutor, Mr Tapiwa Solani said on November 8 last year, Ngwenya got home from work and found two of her daughters playing outside.
“She asked her if she had cooked and went into the house where she found that electricity had been restored.
“Ngwenya allegedly asked her elder daughter who was in the house and is said to be mentally unstable to boil some water. She later called the minor into the house, locked her inside before tying her hands and pouring the boiling water on her,” he said.
The following morning, Ngwenya went to work and left her children preparing to go to school, the court heard.
The girl showed her teacher the burns and explained how her mother had scalded her.
The court heard the teacher rushed her to Mpilo Central Hospital where she was admitted and later reported the matter to the police.
A medical report was produced in court as an exhibit.
Source: The Chronicle