Young mother faces jail for child neglect

Portia Mlilo
CHARGED: Maretele under police escort

A young mother from Mogoditshane has been charged with child neglect after she allegedly left her one-year-old child alone for 11 days.

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Keletso Maretele, 28, appeared before the Molepolole Magistrates’ Court on Monday and pleaded guilty to the charge.

According to court records, between September 24th and October 5th, Maretele purportedly left her one-year-old child unattended.

State Prosecutor Sergeant Mosweu informed the court that investigations were still ongoing, with the police seeking to determine her whereabouts during the specified period.

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Additionally, they were working to establish Maretele’s permanent residence, as it appeared she did not have one.

“We request this honorable court to issue an order for a social welfare officer to visit the accused at the location she claims as her residence for assessment. She lacks a traceable address, and we have concerns about her whereabouts after being granted bail, as well as the safety and care of her child,” said Mosweu.

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When given the opportunity to speak, Maretele pleaded guilty to the charge and asked the prosecution to take her to her siblings’ residence, where they could provide sureties for her bail.

Magistrate Phetogo granted bail to the accused under specific conditions, requiring her to provide two sureties with traceable addresses and to attend court as necessary.

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Additionally, the magistrate ordered a Social Welfare Officer to assess the accused and file a report for a Case Management Conference.

The accused remained in custody and would only be released upon fulfilling the established bail conditions.

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Her next court appearance is scheduled for October 24th for mention.

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