News24

Baby born in courthouse

2009-06-03 09:38

Johannesburg – Exactly one year after an 18-week pregnant state prosecutor from Klerksdorp lost her baby, she helped a woman to deliver a healthy baby boy on a wooden bench right in front of her courtroom.

Prosecutor Lee-Ann Veldschoen and court orderly Annemarie Jordaan smiled broadly on Tuesday as they talked about the “wonderful thing” they had experienced.

Veldschoen said her court was “quickly interrupted for 10 minutes” at about 11:00, and she saw the woman sitting outside in the hallway. She decided to investigate when she walked past a little while later, because Jordaan was talking to the woman.

“I could see something was wrong. The next thing I knew, the woman grabbed my arm. I let her lie in my lap and made her comfortable. She would groan every now and then as she was in labour. At that stage her water had broken quite a while ago. I’d never delivered a baby before.”

While the cleaners were still scurrying around trying to get the floor clean and take off the woman’s clothes, they could already see the baby’s head.

Baby 'slid out'

“One of the cleaners got a fright and left everything just like that. Then the little head came out further. I took hold just in time, since the baby literally slid out. Then I gave the baby a little whack on the bum, and he gave a quick scream,” says Veldschoen.

Jordaan quickly took off her police jacket and wrapped up the baby boy. Inspector Almarie Blignaut, another court orderly, managed to find a baby blanket.

Paramedics arrived later and confirmed that the mother, Susan Dlandwane, and the baby were both healthy. “The daddy was busy in court B. We don’t know whether he was an accused or a witness.

“I never knew a baby could come so quickly,” says Jordaan.