A mother is distressed after a 54-year-old Soweto woman was arrested for leaving her child and three others unattended for hours to go drink holy water at a church on Tuesday.
Zenneth Mathabathe is the mother of an 11-month-old who was among the four children. The others were aged three months‚ 9 months and six.
“I was frightened by this. Anything could have happened.
“I suspected she was not taking care of the children but I didn’t think it was this bad. My child was often sick and I wouldn’t understand why. She would say that maybe he has a weak immune system‚” said Mathabathe.
The past Friday when Mathabathe returned from work‚ the babysitter’s daughter informed her that the woman had left the children in the care of a 13-year-old girl living next door to her.
“I doubt her parents know. I spoke to her about it and I thought it would be the last time. A while back she left a child at my place and I was furious because what if something happened and the parents would blame me. But even then I gave her a piece of my mind‚” said Mathabathe.
According to Mathabathe‚ two of the children were adopted by the woman from welfare.
“She started looking after my child last year August. I will have to look for another creche. I had to miss work today. It’s basically a creche‚ we paid R500 per month. She runs a creche at Klipspruit‚ Pimville‚” Mathabathe said.
Though Mathabathe said she’s frustrated‚ “my only plea is that they remove the children from her care‚ I don’t want to take it too far”.
Another parent who asked to be anonymous said that the woman is not a bad person.
“Apparently she left them for nine hours without anyone looking after them. She’s not a bad person. She sometimes leaves the children but would have someone looking after them. I wish she had asked us to look after them in the meantime.
“I used to leave my child there and since I had an accident two weeks ago I took her back‚” she said.
Mpho Ntseru‚ who lives on the same floor as the babysitter‚ said she had heard babies crying when she left for work around 7:30 in the morning on Tuesday.
“I heard babies crying. I’ve known her for about five years and I have never heard complaints about her. I know her work is looking after children‚” Ntseru said.
Police Captain Mpande Khoza said the woman locked the children in her house in Chiawelo‚ Soweto‚ on Tuesday morning.
The woman is due to appear before the magistrate’s court on Thursday.
Source: TMG Digital.