A woman taken into custody in connection with the gruesome discovery of four frozen infant bodies, a foetus and two placentas in two freezers appeared in a packed Mthatha Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
Melice Jacobs, a 29-year-old mother of three, was formally charged on four counts of murder and concealment of pregnancy.
It was revealed that the incidents happened between 2010 and last December 2014.
A slenderly built Jacobs appeared wearing a grey dress with grey tights, a black jacket and pink pumps. She looked tired standing in the dock in front of before magistrate Anele Maqolo.
A group protested outside court, demanding that she not be given bail.
Court-F, where she appeared, was filled to capacityas curious onlookers tried to get a glimpse of her.
Some people were standing, others sitting on the floor while
The court room had started filling up at 9am and despite being told Jacobs would only appear at about 11am, the crowded gallery waited patiently inside the court.
Jacobs eventually only appeared at 12.44pm.
Looking tired from her ordeal, she used her long dark hair or hands to hide her face until the magistrate reprimanded her.
“Madam, I always wish to see everyone who appears before me. Can you just take off your hands,” ordered Maqolo.
Most of those in the gallery were residents of the close- knit New Brighton township in Mthatha, where Jacobs is from and the horror discovery was made.
Jacobs was in Johannesburg at the weekend when the bodies were found, attending the funeral of her boyfriend.
Residents spoken to said police should investigate the circumstances surrounding his death.
Some carried placards reading: “Why kill and keep angels, unusual evil deed” and “Why mix cakes and dead bodies?”.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mzukizi Fatyela, earlier this week told media that Jacobs had said the four babies and foetus were her biological children and she was keeping their bodies at her home because she loved them.
He said postmortem results had revealed murder had been committed.
One little body was found in a freezer located in the family dining room on Saturday afternoon and three more were found in the kitchen refrigerator, with the foetus and domestic food.
Four bodies and the foetus were in black garbage bags and the fourth body was wrapped in baby clothes.
The placentas were also in a black bag. One of the bodies had a shoelace wrapped around the neck.
A request by prosecutor Vuyani Mkwalo to prevent media from identifying Jacobs was turned down by Maqolo. , who said there was no basis for it.
The discovery was condemned by the Mthatha Ministers Fraternity (MMF) and Contralesa.
“To the affected community, we pledge our support by praying with them during this tragedy and shocking period,” said MMF chairman Pastor Phikolomzi Adonis.
Contralesa acting provincial chairman Chief Daluxolo Jezile said that they had been left shocked at the incident.
“We never expected that a woman could do such a terrible thing to children,” said Jezile.
The case was postponed to February 18 for profiling of Jacobs and a formal bail application. She has been remanded in custody.
– Lulamile Feni