Woman Accused of Assualting 5-Year-old Maid in Botswana

[from the Botswana Gazette]

Woman poured hot water over `child maid’- allegation PDF Print E-mail
Written by KHONANI ONTEBETSE
Five-year-old hired to look after toddler

Police say they have arrested a 39-year-old woman of Mmopane for allegedly pouring boiling water over a five-year-old girl who was employed to look after her three-year-old baby.

According to the police the victim is in a critical condition at a hospital with second and third degree burns on the head.

Sir Seretse Khama Airport Police Station, King Tshebo told The Gazette that the woman could be charged with employing child labour, among other charges.

“For now, she will be charged with assault occasioning bodily harm, but there is a possibility that she will be charged with employing a five-year-old. The wounds that the little girl sustained on the head as a result of being burnt with hot water are very disturbing,” said Tshebo.

“What we have learnt from the mother of the child is that the five-year -old girl was taken from a village called Moralane around Shoshong. The arrangement was that the she would look after the woman’s three-year- old toddler and the parents were to be paid her wages,” said Tshebo. The woman took advantage of the fact that the five year old `maid’ was from an impoverished family.

Allegations are that the woman became angry with the child for some reason and threw boiling water on her head. “When questioned, she said the victim had poured water in the tub to bath and did not realize that it was too hot; but the woman’s story contradicts the facts before us,” said Tshebo.

The woman is expected to appear before a magistrate’s court on the 10th of July.

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