Pretoria parents dad, Wayne Loubser, 36, and mother, Justine Loubser, 32, have been found guilty of child neglect, common assault and failure to register a baby, in the Pretoria High Court this week.
The mother of the six month old infant was also found guilty of a charge of human trafficking after they tried to sell the child for R500.
National Prosecuting Authority North Gauteng Regional Spokesperson, Lumka Mahanjana, said the couple had been found guilty of the crimes after it was established that they had intended to sell the baby.
“This is after it was put on record in court that after the couple had the baby in April 2020 they did not register the child at the Department of Home Affairs with the intention of selling the baby and for the baby not to be traced back to them,” she said,” Mahanjana said.
She said that a woman, identified only as “Saunders” who owned a food cart in Booysens, had met the couple around July /August 2020.
“She first met Wayne who asked her for food from the food cart. The following day Wayne came with his wife, Justine to introduce her and the baby who was two months old at the time,” Mahanjana said.
“Wayne proceeded to ask Saunders for R50 in order to buy nappies for the baby. Saunders asked her daughter in-law to go buy them and gave them to the couple. From then Saunders continued to buy nappies and baby formula for the baby,” she said.
“It was also put on record in court that the couple made the baby drink cool aid while the father ate the baby formula. The court also heard that the couple repeatedly assaulted the baby a number of times on different occasions. The mother would take the baby to her work place at a pub while the father would drop the child off at Saunders’ food cart while intoxicated,” Mahanjana said.
A doctor who examined the infant testified in court that on 6 November 2020 she completed a J88-medical form, which stated that the child had five day old bruises on the head, chest and right arm and a rash on his buttocks. The court heard how the couple had missed vaccination appointments to prevent clinic nurses from seeing the bruises.
On two separate occasions the parents individually tried to sell the infant to Saunders.
“The father approached Saunders first and offered to give her the baby for R2000 and asked to go with her to the Department of Home affairs to register the baby as hers. While the mother on 3 November 2020 approached Saunders and offered to give the baby to her for a fee of R2500 because she wanted to leave her husband and Pretoria,” Mahanjana said.
Wayne returned to the food cart the next day to ask Saunders if she had considered his offer. Saunders informed him that his wife also tried to sell the baby for R2500.00. Wayne then reduced his price to R1000.
“On 5 November at midday, Justine went to the food cart to ask Saunders to reconsider buying the baby and reduced her offer to R500,” Mahanjana added.
Finally, on 6 November, Wayne went to the food cart and threatened to kill the child if Saunders did not buy him.
“Later that day the mother also went to the food cart without the baby. When Saunders enquired about the baby she told her that he was home because he fell from the bed,” Mahanjana said.
An informer then reported the matter to the police, who together Saunders, set up an entrapment for the couple.
“The police gave Saunders R500 to buy the baby from the couple. The exchange took place outside the couple’s house between Justine and Saunders, while Wayne was inside the house. The mother took the money and gave Saunders the baby and returned back to the house,” Hahanjana said.
“Immediately after, the police went inside the house, confiscated the money and arrested the couple. The baby was taken to a health care facility for observation and is currently in safe care,” she said.
The couple has been in custody since their arrest. The matter was postponed to 1 February 2022 for sentencing.