South African Woman pleads guilty to trying to sell her baby boy on GUMTREE for just $380

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A South African mother has admitted to trying to sell her 19-month-old baby on the Internet site Gumtree for $380, officials said.

Zama Bongiwe Madlala was arrested in October during a police sting at a local KFC restaurant following a tip-off that the 20-year-old had offered her son for sale on the popular advertising website.

Her listing, under the title ‘baby car seat’ in the Baby and Kids section of the website, stated: ‘Hi my name is anonymous from Pmb, [I] am selling my 19months old boy [for]5000.’

Zama Bongiwe Madlala (pictured) was arrested in October during a police sting at a local KFC restaurant following a tip-off that the 20-year-old had offered her son for sale on the popular advertising website

Zama Bongiwe Madlala (pictured) was arrested in October during a police sting at a local KFC restaurant following a tip-off that the 20-year-old had offered her son for sale on the popular advertising website

The woman's listing on Gumtree (pictured) was anonymous and listed under the title 'baby car seat'. It stated she was willing to sell her son for 5,000 South African Rand [$380]

The woman’s listing on Gumtree (pictured) was anonymous and listed under the title ‘baby car seat’. It stated she was willing to sell her son for 5,000 South African Rand [$380]

Natasha Ramkisson-Kara, a spokeswoman for the National Prosecuting Authority, told AFP: ‘The mother pleaded guilty to trafficking in persons, money laundering and contravening the Children’s Act by putting her child up for sale.’

In a statement read out in court in the eastern coastal town of Pietermaritzburg, the Madlala said she tried to sell her baby after her boyfriend was found to not be the child’s biological father, reported local news websiteNews24.

She said: ‘In September, I placed an advertisement in Gumtree, selling my baby for 5,000 rand.

‘Two days later, I received a call from an Indian saying she was interested in the child,’ she reportedly said.

‘The money was in a bank bag which she took from her handbag and told me to count it, which I did.

‘She asked if I wanted to leave and I said yes. As I got up, I was approached by two female police officers and they said I was under arrest.’

The mother is currently on bail and has to report to a police station twice weekly. She will return to court in February for sentencing.

A tearful Madlala told the court she was in love with two boyfriends and she did not know which one was the father. She said she became pregnant at the age of 17 after she had dropped out of school.

The woman admitted to trying to sell her baby son on the advertising website Gumtree after she discovered her boyfriend was not the baby's biological father

The woman admitted to trying to sell her baby son on the advertising website Gumtree after she discovered her boyfriend was not the baby’s biological father

One of the boyfriends denied responsibility and disappeared and the other said he wanted to first see the baby. In February he accepted that he was the father and gave her R1 300 a month (£60).

Earlier this year, they had an argument and he demanded to have a DNA test.

‘All three of us, the child, boyfriend and I had DNA tests. Two weeks later, the results showed the boy was not the child’s father.

‘In September, I placed an advertisement in Gumtree, selling my baby for R5,000. Two days later, I received a call from an Indian saying she was interested in the child and would call me again,’ she told the court.

‘About three days later she called to say she would get a loan from a bank and later she said she had received the loan. We agreed to meet and that she was wearing a pink shirt and was waiting for me at the door of a KFC.

‘Upstairs of the KFC, she asked me what to buy for my son and I said he only eats cereal. She asked if she could hold the baby and asked if she could give me the money. I said yes. The money was in a bank bag which she took from her handbag and told me to count it, which I did.

She was a nice person, I was shocked to hear what happened

‘I counted R5 000 in R200 notes, which I put into my handbag.

‘She asked if I wanted to leave and I said yes. As I got up, I was approached by two female police officers and they said I was under arrest.’

The woman will be sentenced in February after reports have been drawn up.

South Africa’s Independent newspaper spoke to the woman’s mother Kotsiwe Madlala at the family’s rundown two-bedroomed house where she lives with Zama, her three adult sons and three grandchildren (including Zama’s child).

She told how her daughter had had to leave school at the age of 16 after her father left the family. The teenager had wanted to continue with her studies, but the family could not afford the fees. Mrs Madlala had a part-time job and supported the large family as her sons were all unemployed.

‘She was a fun-loving person. She was usually the comedienne at home,’ she told the paper.

Zama was clearly fond her child and eligible for a child support grant.

A neighbour, Zibuse Kunene, said he often used to see Zama playing with her child in the yard.

‘She was a nice person, I was shocked to hear what happened.’

A Department of Social Development spokeswoman said the child was being kept at a place of safety.

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