Hijacking Kidnapping police

The National Task Team led a rescue operation on Monday. Photo: SAPS / Twitter

Woman beats 11-month-old son to death; community warned not to take ‘law into own hands’

A Limpopo community has been warned against mob justice after a mother was arrested for beating her 11-month-old son to death on Sunday.

Hijacking Kidnapping police

The National Task Team led a rescue operation on Monday. Photo: SAPS / Twitter

A 42-year-old woman from Halambani Tswinganani village in Limpopo allegedly beat her 11-month-old baby to death on Sunday, 30 May. The community intervened and stopped the assault but unfortunately, the infant succumbed to his injuries and was declared dead by medical staff at a local clinic.


According to South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson in Limpopo, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, the 42-year-old mother allegedly locked herself in a hut with her 11-month-old son and began “beating him up.”

“The local community members reportedly heard the frantic cries of the baby and rushed to the house,” said Mojapelo.

“After realising that the door was locked, they then broke the door open and rescued the badly injured baby from the mother.”

The community members rushed the infant to the Lambani Clinic but unfortunately he was declared dead on arrival.

Mojapelo said police are not sure what the motive for the killing was, at present but added that domestic violence cannot be ruled out. The mother was arrested on a charge of murder and the police investigation is continuing.


Limpopo provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, cautioned the community against partaking in violent protests or mob justice following the “gruesome” incident.

“We strongly warn community members in that part of our province to desist from taking the law into their own hands as this would make them criminally liable but must instead give the police space to legally deal with this gruesome incident,” said Hadebe.

Earlier this month, a mob justice attack in Zandspruit, Johannesburg led to the deaths of eight young men. In that incident, nine people – accused of terrorising the community – were reportedly rounded up by approximately 200 community members and taken to a field where they were assaulted and set alight.

Six suspects were arrested in connection with the incident on charges of murder, attempted murder and kidnapping.


In an unrelated incident, a 49-year-old woman was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment for beating a 19-month-old baby girl to death with a peach stick in 2020.

The Eastern Cape High Court ordered Ncedeni Qwabe’s jail term because she killed her lover’s niece, Qhamokuhle Ndziba.

The court heard that the toddler was beaten by the woman because she spilled water on the floor while being bathed. Qwabe first claimed that she merely hit the child with a washcloth but after cross-examination by Advocate Louis Sinclair, she admitted that she used a peach tree stick.

Qhamokuhle died on 27 July 2020 – the same evening of the beating – from internal injuries and blood loss.