The mother of Baby X, who was murdered in 2014, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Thursday.
The court found that the 35-year-old woman had murdered her three-year-old daughter, who had endured being beaten, starved, burnt with cigarettes, had chilli powder put in her nappy and tied to a bed at night.
On Thursday she was convicted on 17 charges ranging from murder to assault. The conviction to all the charges will run concurrently, meaning she will serve an effective 20 years behind bars.
Her mother and maternal grandmother were both charged for her murder and assault but the grandmother died of natural causes earlier this year while awaiting trial in Westville prison.
Independent Media is not naming BabyX or her mother to protect her two younger siblings.
Judge Mohini Moodley in summarising the trial said the conduct of Baby X’s mother exceeded the boundaries of chastisement.
In November 2014, the weak, scarred body of the three-year-old girl from Havenside in Chatsworth was found at her home.
During the trial, Dr Sibusiso Ntsele told the Durban High Court that the cause of death was “blunt force trauma following fatal child abuse”.
The State alleged that Baby X’s grandmother had throttled her and repeatedly thrown her onto the ground. The following day, the mother allegedly hit the child with a high heel shoe, with her grandmother later joining in. On the same night, a plastic packet was placed over the child’s head before she went to sleep. She died the following day.
The State alleged that the women also allegedly tortured Baby X’s 11-year-old brother and 8-year-old sister, allegedly beating them, forcing them to beg and assaulting them by pinching or beating their genitals. Baby X’s siblings have since been taken to a place of safety.
The mother claims that following a car accident prior to Baby X’s death, she was mentally impaired and currently has the mental capacity of a child between 9 and 16-years-old.