Prosecutors claim the girl was made to swim continuously in a dam near Bloemfontein in South Africa while her mother and father watched from the banks, reports dailymail.com.
The parents reportedly pushed their daughter to her limit and, when the girl complained, she was reportedly assaulted and forced to continue swimming.
The 38-year-old mother of the primary school student and her 31-year-old husband appeared in Bloemfontein Regional Court on Monday charged with attempted murder and child neglect.
The woman, who faces a further charge of assault, was warned she could face up to ten years in prison, it was reported by SowetanLive which cited Afrikaans-language daily newspaper Volksblad.
The attempted murder charge relates to an incident in October last year when the girl had to swim continuously in the Krugerdriftdam, outside Bloemfontein, while her parents were watching from the side.
Lawyers representing the parents have asked prosecutors for more details on the charges, which relate to that incident.
The child is now in foster care.