Shamiso Dzingire Court Reporter(Chronicle)
THE former Acting Dean of Students’ Affairs at the National University of Science and Technology, Stylish Magida, has appeared in court charged with abusing her 12-year-old nephew.
Magida, 54, from Famona suburb in Bulawayo, allegedly beat up the juvenile, who is a grade seven pupil at a city school, with a belt and a heeled shoe on different occasions.
She appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Charity Maphosa yesterday facing one count of child abuse.
Magida pleaded guilty and was remanded out of custody to today for finalisation of the matter.
In mitigation, she admitted beating the child but said it was a disciplinary measure.
“I love this child like my own. I even raised her mother who fell pregnant three months before she wrote her O’ Level examinations. I’ve a son who is also in grade seven. If they err, I discipline them by the same measure without segregating,” said Magida.
She also said she has no problem looking after her sister’s child.
“The child used to stay with his mother in rural Matobo. I took him under my care to ease the burden on my sister who’s struggling to raise her four children,” Magida said.
Magistrate Maphosa said parents and guardians are allowed to discipline their children.
“But if they do it the extent that the children sustain injuries, it’s classified as abuse.”
Prosecuting, Nkathazo Dlodlo said Magida started staying with the juvenile, who is her sister’s child, in March this year.
Sometime in March, the court heard, Magida slapped the child in the face after he damaged the door of her car while trying to open it.
The boy had scratched the door against a tree.
“On the second occasion, the child failed to cover his books and when Magida discovered this, she beat him with a belt all over the body.
“She went on to beat the child with a heeled shoe on the head after he entered her bedroom to collect his school bag. He sustained a cut on the head as a result of the beating,” said Dlodlo.
Police received a tip off of the alleged abuse of the minor on June 12, leading to Magida’s arrest.
A medical report used as an exhibit in court showed that the child had scratches and bruises as a result of the beatings.