Apr 9, 2013, 12:38 PM
Man Jobe, state counsel, on 13 September 2012, cross-examined Bintou Njie, who was an SOS mother at the SOS village at Bakoteh, before Magistrate Dawda Jallow of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.
Bintou Njie was allegedly said to have been in conflict with SOS rules and regulations. She denied any wrong doing.
Under cross-examination, it was put to her that she was trained before she started the job. She answered in the positive, saying she was trained how to go about the job.
She adduced that she had one year and seven months’ training outside and three months’ training at the school.
She said she was aware of the rules of SOS, stating that they were in the condition of their services and they were read to them.
Asked whether she could tell what the rules were. She said she knew she was trained and was told what the SOS did not want.
“We were trained to take care of the children, to know their health and to have good accommodation,” she answered, adding that they also disciplined them.
Asked what she would do if problems arose between her and the children, she said if she could solve them, she would do it on her own, and if not, she would refer it to the authorities, Codelia Pratt, a social worker, before going to the mothers’ speaker.
She further stated that she started working with SOS in 2001 when she was given the children to take care of, adding that she was taking care of eleven children more girls than boys.
She adduced that there was mother-daughter relationship between her and the children, and if they had problems, they would tell her.
She revealed that she was taking care of PW1 when she was 7 years old.
It was put to her that PW1 said in her evidence that she took care of her in 2004 but the accused said she took care of her in 2001, adding that she knew PW1’s age.
She confirmed that PW1 reported what transpired between the accused and her in 2009.
It was again put to her that there was sleeping arrangement when PW1 was brought to her and she answered in the positive, adding that PW1 was with her for 8 years.
She told the court that the bigger girls had their own rooms and the boys also had their rooms, and the youngest (the baby) was sleeping with the mother, which was official.
She confirmed that three children were with her throughout her stay at SOS, adding that if there was something irregular, the SOS authority would call her attention.
She said further that she was never informed of any irregularity and that the children watched DVD in their rooms, stating that she also watched DVD at scheduled times.
She stated that she reported PW2 to the mothers’ speaker when they had a problem, adding that she was not sure if the mothers’ speaker asked PW2 to apologise.
She confirmed that she followed the sleeping arrangement at SOS.
It was put to her that she did not follow the sleeping arrangement and slept with PW2 but she denied it.
She said she knew PW4, Abdoulie Sowe, at Kotu Police Station and spoke to him but did not know whether he recorded her statement.
The case was adjourned till 27 September 2012, for the state counsel to file her briefs after the defence counsel, Lamin Camara, pronounced that the defence had closed its case.