A South African woman has been imprisoned for allegedly selling orphaned children to a couple in Mpumalanga.

The woman, one Jacqueline Ramohlola, insisted however that she was not guilty of the charges laid before here. Speaking to a court headed by Judge Mahomed Ismail, Mama Jackie, as she is popularly known maintained that she did not sell the children.

According to her narration, she had only found them a suitable home and received a donation of 30,000 rands from the couple.

Despite her pleas, Judge Ismail, found her guilty and sentenced Mama Jackie to a 12-year imprisonment with a 5-year suspension from children services upon release.

The 61-year-old Raisibe Ramohlola may also not work with children for five years after she was released from prison.

Ramohlola, who had been running an unregistered orphaning in Soweto, broke into tears at the ruling saying she was once herself an orphan and was only trying to help the children.

In South Africa, human trafficking carries a maximum life jail term or a fine of 100 million rand.

In a bid to curb child trafficking, the SA government recently introduced the need for unabridged birth certificates as a prerequisite for child travellers entering the country, the move has however been slammed by many including the country’s tourism minister, Derek Hanekom.