A woman has beaten her seven-month-old baby to death who she believed was possessed by demons.
A South-African Magistrate’s Court heard on Wednesday that the accused, Evelyn Jacobs beat her baby continuously for two and half days in an attempt to perform an exorcism.
Jacobs is accused of killing her baby after she and her co-accused, Emmanuel Welcome, apparently tried to perform an exorcism on the child.
According to the testimony of the investigating officer, Detective Constable Kgositsile Taolo, the incident occurred after Welcome told the mother that her child was possessed by demons.
When they arrived at the shack, Welcome said the child was possessed by evil spirits and the mother concurred, so they then beat the child with open hands across her body and head.
“Welcome also took a Bible and started hitting the child with the Bible on her stomach. Later that night, the child could not sleep as she was in pain,” said Taolo.
“The witness said the next morning, she was woken up by the baby’s cries. When she looked at where the child and the mother, as well as Welcome, were sleeping, she saw them hitting the child with their open hands.
“She asked the two accused to stop, as they were hurting the child and could end up killing the baby.
“They, however, continued and she (the witness) took the child but as she was about to leave with her, Welcome grabbed the infant by the feet.
“A tug over the infant then ensued. The mother came and assisted Welcome and the two successfully managed to get the child away (from the witness).
“The mother then placed the child on the bed and handed Welcome a rope, which she instructed him to hit the child with.
“Jacobs took off her slippers and hit the child with the shoes. The child was crying and the witness again tried to take the child, but was unsuccessful.”
According to Taolo, the mother of the child took a leather whip and brutally hit the child with it.
Magistrate Cornelia Voster denied Jacobs’ bail application and the matter was postponed to later this month, awaiting a decision from the Director of Public Prosecutions on whether the matter will be transferred to a higher Court.