Family foils P500 000 baby sale deal
A Mogoditshane family is living in fear after foiling a plot by a desperate family member to sell a baby for P500 000.
Unemployed and destitute, 29-year-old Thatayaone Mogotsi’s plot to sell his six-month old nephew to a rich family was thwarted when it was already at an advanced stage.
Thatayaone tabled the idea of selling his nephew to his sister, Gopolang Mogotsi (34) on November 2017 for half a million Pula to be shared between the two, with the mother getting P350, 000 and Thatayaone receiving P150 000 for brokering the deal.
Dismissing the suggestion, Mogotsi told the brother to stop joking like that but the sibling insisted that the baby would never know that he was sold because he was still too young to remember the incident when he grows up.
“He also suggested that we simply tell the father of the child that he died and was buried.”
Mogotsi did not agree to the plan but to her shock and horror, the following morning a woman in a white Landrover showed up on her doorstep and announced that she had come to collect “an orphan” she had bought from Thatayaone.
Mogotsi asked the woman if she intended to adopt the child and told her to wait for her outside the house so she could get a pen and paper to write down her particulars, but the woman panicked and drove off.
Concerned, Mogotsi took the issue seriously and reported the matter to the Mogoditshane police where to the family’s disappointment, Thatayaone was charged with common nuisance.
The case was brought before the Mogoditshane customary court and he was remanded in police custody for 14 days until he eventually confessed to hatching a plan to sell the baby for cash.
He however refused to reveal the names of the buyers.
He was sentenced to four strokes of the cane on his back and cautioned to stop behaving badly.
The customary court ruling however left the family’s grandmother, 83-year-old Matlhodi Mogotsi traumatised and fearful for their lives, which she insists have been put at risk.
“I just feel the court and the police trivialized a serious matter by lashing this man instead of sending him to jail. Right now we can’t sleep at night because we are afraid of what he might do to us for money,” said the frightened old woman.
Mogotsi said she was appealing the sentence.