Woman arrested for killing her baby girl to hide evidence of adultery

A woman who allegedly strangled her baby to death to hide evidence of her adultery has been remanded into custody.

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The Chronicle reports that Trasia Mathe, from Zimbabwe, had been cheating on her husband, who is based in South Africa, and became pregnant.

Realising that her husband was about to return to see a child he is not responsible for, she allegedly plotted to kill the baby at birth.

She went into labour in December and gave birth to a baby girl. However, Mathe allegedly strangled the newborn to death and buried her in a shallow grave in her garden.

When her husband returned from South Africa a few days later, he noticed Mathe’s swollen breasts and later found out the truth.

He however did not report his wife’s conduct to the police until an anonymous person gave the law enforcement officers a tip-off.

Mathe was arrested and put before Tsholotsho resident magistrate Victor Mpofu who remanded her in custody, reports say.

Interestingly, under Zimbabwean law, if a woman causes the death of her child within 6 months of giving birth, she is charged with infanticide instead of murder, even if the act was intentional.

The belief is that the woman is not mentally balanced due to childbirth, so it would be unfair to charge her for murder.

The maximum sentence for infanticide under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act is 5 years in jail, although some people get community service.

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