'Others may have hurt baby Tammy'
By Botho Molosankwe
The massive injuries that led to baby Tammy's death may not have been inflicted by her adoptive mother only but by the nanny, her adopted father or other people.
This was the argument of a magistrate and defence lawyer in the Johannesburg magistrate's court on Thursday at the murder trial of Zaibunisha Herman.
She is charged with the murder of her adopted child and three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
At the time of her death, Tammy had multiple bruises and fractures, a ruptured liver, internal bleeding and swelling on the brain.
In response to the state's heads of argument, magistrate Lucas van der Schyff said there was no direct evidence on how Tammy sustained her injuries.
More than one person could have caused the injuries - Herman, husband Donovan or child minder Franscinah Makara.
"We can't exclude the possibility that someone else other than the accused could have been responsible."
Herman's lawyer, Eddie Classen, said the evidence of Herman's family - coupled with doctors' testimony on the ages of some of the injuries - created a "reasonable possibility" that Makara could have inflicted the rib injuries.
Judgment will be handed down on September 12.