Sentence for abusive Carletonville caregiver not enough, says WMACA

Nellie Senwametsi has been sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty in the Carletonville Magistrate Court of aggravated assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm involving three minors.

FILE: Parents gathered outside the Ninnie’s Neurons Nursery School where a teacher was filmed beating children. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Women and Men Against Child Abuse organisation said that the sentencing of a former Carletonville caregiver had failed to send a strong message to communities who abused minors.

Nellie Senwametsi has been sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty in the Carletonville Magistrate Court of aggravated assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm involving three minors.

The organisation said that the 40-year-old woman should have received nothing less than the minimum prescribed sentence of 10 years for the assault of a minor.

Videos of the shocking abuse went viral in April last year, showing Senwametsi striking one toddler numerous times on the head and forcing another to clean up after their own vomit.

She will serve five years behind bars for assaulting three children on separate occasions at the Ninnie’s Neurons Nursery School last year.

Ngaa Murombedzi from Women and Men Against Child Abuse has labelled her jail time as a slap on the wrist despite Magistrate Jan Steyn saying that the woman showed remorse and therefore the lesser sentence was warranted.

“The legislation is quite clear that someone who abuses a minor should receive a minimum of 10 years. So, for us as an organisation and seeing the parents today, we were somewhat let down in the justice system.”

In the disturbing video clips, Semtiwetsi can be seen harming the minors repeatedly with Murombedzi saying she showed no remorse: “Our law uses that clause of you have to show remorse, but remorse has to be distinguished from guilt.”

The organisation said that the abuse inflicted on the children will have long-lasting emotional and physiological effects.

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