FRANCISTOWN: An unrepentant mother was Thursday found guilty of children neglect after she allegedly vanished into thin air and failed to take care of her three young children.
The 27-year-old Oreeditse Kearabile of Mabesekwa village was jailed to two years in jail after being convicted of one count of neglecting her three children aged one, eight and 11.
Magistrate Cele Lebakeng had to stop proceedings when facts were still being read to Kearabile because she was not behaving properly in court.
Instead of behaving decently so that the court may be lenient to her when passing sentence, Kearabile showed the court the middle finger when she disturbed the proceedings from moving smoothly.
Kearabile addressed the court as if she was in another place where the use of unpalatable language is allowed.
The prosecutor, Masego Moloi said that Kearabile’s behaviour was not surprising because it was the manner in which she dealt with the police from November last year when charges were laid against her.
The accused kept on disturbing court when facts were presented to her saying that she was ready to answer all questions that were put to her.
Her anger in court was conspicuous for all to see.
According to the facts of the matter, Kearabile abandoned her children with her neighbour, Bantatile Borotho, claiming that she was going to look for a job in Tonota but vanished without trace.
She left the children with Borotho after her aunt chased her from her home because she was in the habit of disappearing for days without taking care of the children.
According to the facts, after Borotho accommodated Kearabile on October 8 last year, she was surprised to find the children alone when she returned to her place after three days.
Social workers and the police were later involved but Kearabile later turned herself at Tonota police station last year on November 1.
When asked why she neglected the children, Kearabile said that she had informed Borotho that she had gone to Tonota to look for a job in order to take care of the children.
“That old woman knew
However, Social Worker Goabaone Mogapi recommended that a prison sentence was appropriate under the circumstances in order to instill a sense of responsibility on Kearabile.
The Social Workers’ report showed that one of the children was sickly and was in need of medical attention and pills around the clock.
After facts were read to Kearabile, Lebakeng told her that her reasons for neglecting the children were far from convincing.
“There were no compelling reasons for you to abandon your children and for that I am sending you to jail,” Lebakeng said.
After Lebakeng told Kearabile that she would spend time in the slammers, Kearabile told the court that she was currently three months pregnant and pleaded for mercy.
It was easy to see that Kearabile was of a rustic background and had not gone far with her education after she pleaded with the court to imprison her at Mabesekwa Kgotla so that she can take care of her children.
Lebakeng would however, entertain none of Kearabile’s pleas saying that sending her to prison would give her time to reflect about her life.
When people thought that Kearabile was now remorseful of her actions, she mumbled something that attracted the Lebakeng’s wrath of when the Magistrate was still reading the sentence.
By that time, palpable anger had enveloped Kearabile’s face again.
Initially, Lebakeng had sentenced Kearabile to one year in jail but increased it to two years due to the manner in which the accused conducted her-self in court.
She ruled that Kearabile should serve her sentence at Mahalapye Prison where there are facilities that she can use to take care of her unborn child.
Lebakeng also made an order for Kearabile’s other three children to continue being under the care of social workers.