Tears flow freely from her eyes.
Silently she moves her baby back into position as it suckles at her breast. The cold weather is unforgiving, but the baby’s blanket keeps slipping and every time the mother gently pulls it up, catching it just before it falls on the floor.
At the same time she is paying attention to prosecution going on in court.
Stella Makhi is not crying because she faces two months imprisonment for beating up her love rival, Leene Batlang, she is crying because of the betrayal she says she was subjected to by the very woman who reported her to the police.
This is the story of 36-year-old Makhi who was facing a single count of assault and of verbally insulting 28-year-old Batlang both of Boseja ward in Maun.
The two, according to information submitted before Kgosi Bringle Dithapo on Wednesday, had a misunderstanding in March this year over Makhi’s baby daddy.
Makhi fiddles with her baby’s slipper which had fallen off as Kgosi Dithapo reads out the police charge sheet.
The charge states that sometime in early March, Makhi who was accompanied by a friend, went to Batlang teacher’s quarters at Xhabara primary school where she attacked her with slaps and fists on her head and hurled a mouthful of insults at her for allegedly trying to steal her baby daddy.
Makhi pleaded guilty to the assault charge but denied the insults.
Asked to mitigate, Makhi explained that her intention when she went to Batlang’s place was not to fight but talk to Batlang woman to woman.
However she says Batlang’s approach and “bad words” made her beat her up.
She told court that what hurt her most is that Batlang was more like a sister to her. “Her uncle asked us to help find her accommodation when she was hired at the school. We became close because for some days she stayed with us. She used to visit my house a lot and she would go out with my boyfriend and I had no problem with it because I trusted both of them,” said Makhi
She further noted that as she was still nursing a baby, having recently given birth, she mostly stayed in the house. “So one day, someone came to the house and told me, so you are here, while those two are kissing publicly at the bar and I lost it.”
Makhi was given a two-month suspended jail sentence for assault, but the insult charge is yet to be concluded as Batlang said she had no witnesses. The only witness is said to be the other women who accompanied Makhi on the day of alleged incident.
Batlang has not stated her case yet and next court date was not announced.