Newborn found in pit toilet

2019-07-17 06:00

KHOKHWANE residents at Elandskop where shocked to discover a newborn baby boy in a pit toilet on Sunday.

It is alleged that the boy’s mother gave birth at her home in the early hours of Sunday and thereafter threw the baby in a pit toilet at her home.

The baby was found on Sunday after passers-by heard him crying.

Pietermaritzburg Police spokesperson Mthokozisi Ngobese said the mother of the baby has since been arrested and will appear at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrates’ Court soon, saying: “The baby is in hospital. The mother faces a charge of child abandonment.”

The community said the pit toilet where the baby was found was no longer used by the family, however the family disputed that, saying that it was still functioning.

Community member Nhlonipho Mshengu, who was an eye-witness and who helped rescue the baby from the toilet, said they are still shocked and they do not know what might have pushed the mother to go as far as to throw the baby in the toilet.

“I was going to the car wash when I noticed a group of women and one man gathered next to a pit toilet. They called me and said they suspected that there was a baby inside because they had heard it crying.

“I used my phone torch create light inside the toilet because I wanted to see if what they were telling me was true.

“They were already trying to break into the toilet when I came. I saw a yellow plastic bag inside and I suggested that we use a metal stick to try and take out the plastic bag and it worked. We took it [the bag] out and opened it there was a baby boy inside. He was naked and crying,” said Mshengu.

Mshengu said they started asking around the community who was pregnant but no one came forward. He said they then called the police and ambulance to come and assist in saving the baby.

“The suspected mother of the child was there all the time, watching us trying to save the baby, and she did not say anything until the baby was washed and [we were] waiting for an ambulance. She admitted that the baby belonged to her. She was then arrested,” he said.

Family members from the house where the baby was found declined to comment on the incident, saying that didn’t know what had led to the incident.

Another resident said they were angry and heartbroken, saying this is not the first time they have seen a newborn baby thrown away by its own mother.

“Not so long ago a newborn baby was found in a Jojo tank, dead. This is sad and it makes us in the area look like bad people who are heartless. We are just grateful that the child survived,” said the resident.

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