'Dead toddler was lying there like a person sleeping quietly'

2015-12-24 07:21
Ambulance. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Ambulance. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg - The mother of a three-year-old who died after falling from the third-floor balcony of his parents' Roodepoort flat screamed and cried hysterically when she saw his body lying on the ground, the security guard who found him said.

Speaking to News24, the security guard, who asked to remain anonymous, said, "She screamed and started crying uncontrollably. I didn't want to ask her any questions because she was crying so much."

The man said on Saturday afternoon, two young children not older than five ran to the guard house to tell him there was a child sleeping on the ground.

As he walked towards the child, he saw blood seeping from the toddler's head. "He was lying there like a person sleeping quietly," the guard said.

It appeared the mother had left the boy inside the flat in Wilro Park.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Nonhlanhla Khumalo said the child had used a chair from the home to climb over the balcony.

Screamed and started crying

The security guard said he did not recognise the child and went around the apartment block asking residents whether they were missing a child.

"Eventually I got tired and went back towards the gate, then a car came in; some residents had driven in. I asked them if they had a son and I took them to the body to see if they could identify the child.

"On our way there, one of the women from the car screamed and started crying, which meant that she was the mother of the child," he said.

By that time, three doctors who lived in the block of flats were at the scene, attending to the boy. The guard returned to the gate to allow the police and ambulances on to the property.

"Whenever I went back, all I heard was cries."

The child's father arrived home hours later, he said. "He came in and cried when he arrived at the scene."

Tried to commit suicide

According to Khumalo, the woman allegedly tried to commit suicide by drinking poison. She was taken to hospital and was discharged on Tuesday.

An inquest docket was opened.

The child's father asked police to give them time to prepare the funeral before continuing their investigations. They were yet to get the mother's side of the story, Khumalo said.

The security guard said he had not seen the child's parents since the incident occurred but a large contingent of family members had been visiting the couple.

He said although seeing the child lying there was a sad sight, he was still able to continue working. "I feel alright. I can still work. I feel bad [about what happened] but I tell myself to focus on work."


Read more on:    johannesburg  |  accidents

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