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A Gugulethu mother has been sentenced to 10 years behind bars for killing her partner’s 4-year-old son by hitting him over the head several times with a shoe.

Phuleng Tstotsetsi said she did not mean to kill little Gift and had gone to report the incident to the police after she realised what she had done.

The incident happened in July 2017 in KTC, Gugulethu, when, according to her plea and sentence agreement, Gift had soiled himself, and Tstotsetsi felt she needed to discipline him after threats from his father, Sibusiso Mahlangu.

Tstotsetsi and Mahlangu have four children together and were living in a shack along with Mahlangu’s other two children, including Gift. 

According to Tstotsetsi, Mahlangu had said he would assault her if she did not potty train Gift. She said she feared for her life and decided she needed to discipline Gift.

“After the accused hit Gift with the shoe, he ran away but then fell down. She asked (Gift) to get up but he did not respond. She then washed him in the bath with a little water. 

"He still would not get up. She dressed him and wrapped him in a blanket and put him to bed. She then left him, thinking that he had fallen asleep

“When she attempted to wake the deceased for dinner, he did not wake up. She then checked and realised that he had no pulse and was not breathing,” the plea read.

In the Western Cape High Court on Monday, Tstotsetsi was sentenced to 10 years in prison for culpable homicide.

Gift’s mother, Phephe Ntuli, was satisfied with the sentence.

Cape Times