Baby found in Duzi reeds

2018-01-11 13:55
Divers from the Search and Rescue Unit who were deployed in the Msunduzi River to search for the body of baby Nontobeko Ngcobo.

Divers from the Search and Rescue Unit who were deployed in the Msunduzi River to search for the body of baby Nontobeko Ngcobo. (Nokuthula Khanyile)

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WATCH: Nanny appears in court after video shows her allegedly throwing baby

2017-09-19 15:08

A Namibian woman is facing charges of child abuse, assault and attempted murder after she allegedly recklessly threw a baby she was caring for into a cot.WATCH

A teenage mother from Taylors Halt faces a charge of murder after she allegedly drowned her six-month-old baby girl in the Msunduzi River on Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, after hours of searching, divers from the Search and Rescue Unit recovered the tiny body of Nontobeko Ngcobo from the river, along the Darvill sewage works.

On Tuesday night, the search was halted due to heavy lightning in the area, which made it difficult for divers to get into the river.

They lifted the little body from among thick reeds on Wednesday, and took the baby’s body to an awaiting pathology service van to be identified by the mother, who was also at the scene, but was not allowed to speak to media.

The 19-year-old mother, whom police said appeared to be “unstable”, sat in a police car as divers desperately searched the river. She is expected to appear in the Pietermaritzburg regional court soon.

A distraught relative, Lindiwe Ngcobo choked back tears as she told The Witness how the mother unexpectedly disappeared with the infant when they were standing in the queue at the Home Affairs building on Church Street early on Tuesday morning.

“I had accompanied her to go and collect her smart card ID at Home Affairs. While we were standing in the queue, she told me she wanted to go outside to breastfeed the baby.

“I stood in the queue for her, but I got concerned when she did not return after 45 minutes.”

Ngcobo said she then went outside to look for the mother who was nowhere to be found. “I asked the people who were queuing outside if anyone had seen her. Hours passed and she didn’t return.

“I tried to call her on her cellphone and it was just ringing and she didn’t answer.”

A distressed Ngcobo said she contacted the woman’s grandmother who stays at France township to ask if she had spoken her. “When the grandmother said she hadn’t spoken to her I decided to go to Loop Street police station to report her and the baby missing,” she said.

While Ngcobo’s frantic search continued, the young mother arrived at her grandmother’s house in France late on Wednesday afternoon without her child.

Alexandra police station spokesperson Captain Kholeka Mhlongo said when the grandmother questioned the woman about the whereabouts of the child she told her she had thrown it in the river, sparking a wide-search late on Tuesday night.

“She told the grandmother she left the Home Affairs office and took a taxi to Scottsville.

She said she walked down to the river bank, wrapped the baby up with a blanket and flung it into the river and left,” said Mhlongo.

Ngcobo described the entire ordeal as “heartbreaking and painful” for her family. “We are so relieved that the police found the baby’s body.

“It does not make the pain of losing her any better but at least we’ll be able to bury her and say goodbye.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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