Mokoena's sentencing welcomed

A child rights group has welcomed the sentencing of the mother who murdered her eight-year-old son.

A child rights group has welcomed the sentencing of the mother who murdered her eight-year-old son. Picture: RSC Inc.

JOHANNESBURG - A children's rights group has welcomed the jail sentence handed down to a Boksburg mother who murdered her eight-year-old son.

Maliepetsane Mokoena reportedly suffocated her son with a pillow in their home last year, before setting his body alight.

The High Court judge, who sentenced the 44-year-old mother on Wednesday, says he can only imagine how the eight-year-old fought for his life as his mother suffocated him.

In her defence, the woman argued that she suffered from depression soon after she divorced the child's father.

Women and Men Against Child Abuse's Tania Otto has welcomed the sentence, saying she hopes it will send a strong message to parents.

"We have to keep on encouraging people to give support to single mothers who are struggling and are depressed."

The judge found that nothing could justify Mokoena's actions and ruled she killed her son to hurt his father and prevent him from bonding with her ex-husband's new wife.