The KwaZulu-Natal woman who tried to sell her 18-month-old baby on Gumtree will not spend any time in jail.
Bongiwe Madlala was on Wednesday handed a five-year suspended sentence for human trafficking and has to spend three years under correctional supervision. The supervision includes house arrest, community service and mandatory attendance at rehabilitation programmes, The Mercury reported.
The prescribed sentence for human trafficking is life imprisonment or a R100-million fine but Pietermaritzburg regional magistrate Rose Mogwera said that Madlala’s case had exceptional circumstances.
“This act (crime) did not have the traits where someone is sold to a syndicate. Although the child was exposed to these real risks, fortunately, it never went that far,” Mogwera said in The Mercury.
Mogwera said that Madlala was a first-time offender and had shown remorse for her actions.
Madlala was arrested in October last year after she put her baby up for sale on Gumtree for R5000. She found a buyer, who was an undercover police officer, and was arrested when she agreed to the sale.
The 20-year-old woman said that she had been desperate as she wanted to pay back the child support she owed to her former boyfriend after they found out that he was not the child’s father.