Mother arrested after baby is ‘strangled’

2017-09-26 06:01

A 32-year-old woman remains in custody following her arrest last weekend.

The woman was arrested in connection with the murder of her newborn baby and appeared in the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday last week.

Mitchell’s Plain police spokesperson, Captain Ian Williams, confirms that the arrest was made in Beacon Valley on Sunday 17 ­September.

“At 17:10, Mitchell’s Plain police were called to attend a complaint at the Mitchell’s Plain Day Hospital,” says Williams.

It is alleged the suspect had given birth at her Jukskei Street home and then strangled the newborn to death.

“The suspect allegedly then wrapped the deceased in a blue plastic bag and placed the child under a mattress. A family friend then later took the suspect and baby to the day hospital,” Williams adds.

The woman was then arrested by police and police are further investigating a case of ­murder.

Following her court appearance, Social Services placed the woman’s four other children in the care of a family member and they are receiving counselling.

The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) MEC, Albert Fritz, said in a statement that they will assist the police in their investigation of the neonaticide – when a baby is killed within 28 days of life.

“We condemn this brutal murder and the alleged circumstances of this incident in the strongest terms possible. That the alleged murderer is the mother of the baby is most outrageous,” says Fritz.

“We continue to appeal to expectant mothers and fathers, and parents of newborn children, to approach our social workers for assistance and family planning interventions. This service is available to anyone who may be experiencing emotional or physical difficulty in raising their child.”

DSD representatives were also present at court on Tuesday, when the woman had her first appearance.

The woman is set to appear in court as her case was postponed to today (Tuesday) for further bail proceedings, and she was still in custody at the time of going to print.

“Ensuring the safety and care of children requires a whole-of-society approach. Child protection is everybody’s responsibility. If you see something, say something,” says Fritz.

V To report abandoned, abused, neglected or missing children, call the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250.

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