This article is from our archives. It reminds us all to be very aware of helper red flags that could indicate trouble is brewing. At the same time, let us be responsible employers, giving our domestic helpers enough time to rest, paying them on time etc. That said, nothing warrants this despicable act of a maid who boils baby to death.
They say money is the root of all evil. In this particularly shocking case, money matters appear to have caused a maid in South Africa to boil her employer’s three-month-old baby to death.
Maid boils baby to death: Why she did it
The maid, Nokuthula Nyathi, from Zimbabwe, reportedly carried out the cruel act of boiling the baby to death when she failed to get her salary on time.
Nokuthula confronted her employer about her salary two days after the day she was supposed to receive her pay. Her employer, Karen Dube, had promised to pay her by the end of the same week but did not hold up her end of the bargain.
Was it really because of money?
So, in a despicable act of revenge, Nokithula did the unthinkable: she placed her employer’s innocent three-month-old baby in a pot of water, and boiled the baby for an hour.
Some neighbours suggested that the main cause of the tragic incident was the turbulent relationship between the maid and the employer, and not the fact that the latter was unable to pay her helper.
According to reports, Nokithula was allegedly caught stealing on several occasions and her employer tried to terminate her employment before but had been unsuccessful because Nokithula simply refused to resign.
Mum’s reaction after maid boils baby to death
After murdering the baby, Nokithula packed up her belongings and left. When Karen Dube returned home, she collapsed in shock and grief upon discovering her baby in the container. Karen Dube was unconscious and found lying on the floor by her neighbour.
The maid was arrested the next day and was charged with murder and then held in custody.
Learning points from the maid boils baby case
Although this maid boils baby incident happened overseas, there is a very real possibility of similar situations happening in Singapore. Horror stories about maids abusing children are nothing new in Singapore.
Here are some tips to help lessen the likelihood of a similar situation striking in your household:
1. Build a good relationship with your maid
Your maid is less likely to abuse your child if they enjoy a good relationship with your family.
2. Trust your instincts
If your maid gives you the creeps, be cautious of her. If you are really worried, bring the issue up to the maid agency and see if you can replace your current helper.
Make sure to choose your maid wisely.
3. Choose wisely
Always hire a maid from a reputable agency. It will be advisable to get references from the maid agency about a potential maid. If you employ a transfer maid, always ask her previous employer about her, including the reason why she left.
If someone reports to any disturbing behaviour related to your maid, do not dismiss them. Try to investigate and verify the credibility of the claims.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask
If it is possible, ask your friends for recommendations of good maid agencies.
Remember, it’s always a two-way relationship between any employer and employee.