Woman in dead-babies-in-freezer case tells court of abuse and miscarriages
Melice Jacobs, who is accused of murder and concealment of birth after dead babies were found in freezers at her Mthatha home, told the Mthatha High Court on Thursday that the babies were hers.
She said she had kept the bodies for up to five years, after having miscarriages from beatings by her longtime boyfriend, who is now dead.
Jacobs has indicated she intends to plead not guilty to the charges.
“They are my blood and flesh. They are part of me and I would not like to let go of them. The knowledge that they were there made me feel good,” she said.
Jacobs’ evidence suggested that she conceived seven times over 10 years. Three of the children are alive while she claimed to have had miscarriages in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
She said of her late boyfriend: “He would punch me and kick me on the ribs and my back and head. This had been going on for many, many years. It started shortly after I gave birth to my first-born child, a son, in 2004.
“I have never told anyone of it except his mother and grandmother. It is because of the beatings that I had these miscarriages, I never killed them.
“He even beat me in full view of our children. At times, the little ones would try to hug me to protect me but he would take them away forcefully and continue with the beating.”
Her boyfriend was buried a few weeks ago when the babies were discovered by a neighbour.
Jacobs asked to be granted bail to allow her and her children time to mourn their father and to celebrate her youngest son, who turned five yesterday. She also asked that the bodies be returned to her so that she could cremate them.
Prosecutor Luthando Feni read out the results of the postmortems, saying that two of the babies were 35 to 36 weeks old, another was 21 weeks old and another 32 weeks old.
“One of them died of strangulation, two died of hypothermia and another one was an abortion,” Feni told the court.
Jacobs’ lawyer, Mpumelelo Notununu, asked people not to vilify his client and instead be sympathetic towards her and assist her.
“We are dealing here with a broken little woman, who was in a broken relationship and who has been a victim of abuse for many, many years. Where are the good women of this country to protect her?
Notununu said his client had travelled from Johannesburg to Mthatha knowing she would be arrested and yet did not flee.
The state opposed bail. Feni said Jacobs was a liar and in her evidence she did not want to take responsibility, so she shifted the blame onto her late boyfriend.
Magistrate Nompumelelo Bango reserved judgment for March 12.
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