TODAY IN HISTORY: Youngest Mother Gave Birth At Age 5 – Mandela Sentenced 6 Years Over Kidnapping

Youngest Mother Gave Birth At Age 5

On this day in 1939, Lina Medina entered medical history as the youngest confirmed mother, giving birth to a son at the tender age of 5.

The Peruvian child underwent a caesarean section to deliver a healthy 5-pound, 8-ounce boy due to her narrow pelvis, which prevented natural birth. Dr. Edmundo Escomel documented Lina’s case, highlighting her early sexual development. Remarkably, Lina began menstruating at just eight months old, and by the age of 4, her breasts were almost fully developed.

Despite skepticism surrounding Lina’s extraordinary condition, doctors confirmed her pregnancy through fetal X-rays and provided a photograph taken during her late pregnancy, demonstrating her advanced sexual maturation.

The baby boy, named Gerardo, was born healthy and grew up without any abnormalities, unaware of his mother’s true identity until he turned 10. Tragically, Gerardo passed away at the age of 40 due to a bone marrow disease.

The identity of the father remains unknown. Although Lina’s father was initially suspected of rape and incest, charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence. Lina never disclosed her father’s identity, and it’s possible she may not even know it herself.

Winnie Mandela Sentenced 6 Years Over Kidnapping

Also on May 14, 1991, Winnie Mandela, the wife of Nelson Mandela, was sentenced to six years in prison on charges of kidnapping and being an accessory in the beating of four youths.

Mandela remained stoic as Supreme Court Judge Michael Stegmann delivered the sentences and emphasized the lack of remorse from Mandela and her co-defendants, Xoliswa Falati and John Morgan. The Judge also criticized their lack of compassion toward the victims, who were beaten in Mandela’s home in Soweto in December 1988 after being kidnapped from a Methodist minister’s house.

Winnie Mandela: Life in pictures - Winnie Madikizela-Mandela - Al Jazeera

Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress, expressed confidence in his wife’s innocence regarding the assault charges and indicated his belief that her name would be cleared eventually. He did not attend the sentencing but stated that “the last word on the matter has not been spoken.”

It was unlikely that Winnie Mandela would serve jail time, as she was released on bail of about $72 and had filed an appeal against her conviction. The appeals process in South Africa can take up to three years. Additionally, there was speculation that a new black-led government might pardon her, particularly considering President Frederik W. de Klerk’s unlikely move to imprison the wife of his key partner negotiating reforms in South Africa including the end of the apartheid regime.

After securing bail, Mandela left the court to cheers from supporters, raising her fist in triumph. She later expressed gratitude to those who stood by her and denounced what she described as misleading reports during her legal ordeal.

Co-defendant Falati also received a six-year prison sentence, while Morgan was given a one-year suspended sentence. South Africa has no mandatory sentencing guidelines for kidnapping, leaving the decision to the Judge’s discretion.

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