Six-year-old briefly stopped breathing after stabbing‚ court hears

The six-year-old who was stabbed 19 times by her stepmother had stopped breathing shortly after the incident‚ the Randburg Magistrate’s Court heard on Thursday.

A 25-year-old woman from Diepsloot‚ who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the child‚ is facing charges of attempted murder and malicious damage to property.

She is alleged to have stabbed the child in full view of the police who had attended the scene on March 24.

During the bail application‚ investigating officer Sergeant Abraham Tiphe said the police had gone to the woman’s house after her boyfriend had laid a charge of malicious damage to property against her.

Tiphe said when the police rescued the child‚ she was so severely injured that the police had to take her to the hospital.

“As police officers‚ we are not allowed to take victims to hospitals‚ but under the circumstances‚ we had to rush the child to the hospital because she looked like she had stopped breathing.”

Tiphe told the court that the woman was violent in nature and that neighbours told him she had previously assaulted the child.

“A tenant in the yard where the accused lives told me that the accused has assaulted the victim before. She apparently blamed her [the six-year-old] for the problems in her relationship with her father‚” Tiphe said.

Tiphe asked the court to deny the woman bail.

“As a police officer‚ I am disturbed by her actions. She stabbed the child in full view of the police. She has disregard for the law. I strongly oppose bail.”

The woman’s lawyer‚ Japi Malatji‚ however‚ pleaded for her release‚ arguing that the accused herself is a mother to four children.

“She is a student and has a bright future ahead of her. There is no evidence to suggest that the community is angry with her and that her life is in danger.”

He conceded that the woman had committed a serious offence that can attract a 10-year prison sentence‚ but asked the court to release her on bail so she could write her exams.

The bail application continues.

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