A 20-year-old woman in South Africa has pleaded guilty to trying to sell her baby boy by putting an announcement on advertisement website Gumtree. Zama Bongiwe Madlala, named for the first time, faces human trafficking and money laundering charges.
Madlala tried to sell her baby for or R5,000 (£230; $346). She pleaded guilty during a hearing at the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court, in the KwaZulu-Natal province.
Madlala was arrested in October as a Gumtree user alerted the police after seeing the advertisment for the baby in an advert about a car seat. A police agent who posed as a buyer met the woman in a KFC restaurant, where she was immediately arrested.
National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said Madlala will remain under house arrest until a court appearance scheduled for February 2016. Her 19-month-old son will remain with social workers.
Gumtree said it acted as soon as the matter was brought to its intention. "Gumtree South Africa's customer service team was alerted that a young woman had placed an ad on the site advertising a child for sale," the company said in a statement. "The team immediately removed the ad and blocked the user's account, which effectively did not allow her to post any further ads on the site."