Children's Court orders dad not to go near toddler son who allegedly ingested his drugs

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A 21-month-old baby spent a week in ICU in a Pretoria hospital after ingesting the recreational drug, CAT.
A 21-month-old baby spent a week in ICU in a Pretoria hospital after ingesting the recreational drug, CAT.
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  • Police are investigating a case of attempted murder after a 21-month-old baby ingested a drug known as CAT.
  • It is alleged the child's father conceded that he kept the drug in the house for recreational use.
  • The Children's Court has since granted an order that the father is not allowed near the baby.

The Pretoria father of the 21-month-old baby who was hospitalised after ingesting an unknown quantity of drugs, may not go near his son following a court order.

The baby, who spent more than a week in an intensive care unit was moved to a regular ward last week as his health had improved.

He had since been discharged from hospital and was now back in the care of his mother.

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Police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili who previously confirmed that a case of attempted murder was being investigated following the incident, told News24 on Tuesday that the father would not be allowed anywhere near the baby.

This followed an order by the Children's Court, Muridili added.

While the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit was investigating the matter, no arrests had been made.

Hospitalisation

On 6 September, the child's parents rushed him to a Pretoria East hospital after he started having seizures.

According to a source who has impeccable knowledge of the incident, the father eventually admitted to doctors that the baby had allegedly found his stash of methcathinone (known as CAT) which he used recreationally.

READ | Grade 8 boy to appear in court for allegedly stabbing fellow pupil to death

It was alleged that the father could not tell doctors how much of the drug he had in his possession to determine how much the baby may have ingested.

According to the source, the hospital staff then called a social worker and opened a criminal case against the parents.

'Didn't offer any explanation'

Advocacy group Unchain Our Children was contacted by the social worker, who, together with police, jumped into action to follow the necessary processes to ensure the baby's safety.

The group's founder and managing director, Wayne van Onselen, previously confirmed to News24 that the baby had ingested CAT and presented with severe symptoms.

Van Onselen said:

The biological father just brushed it off as 'the baby will be fine'. That nonchalant attitude and the mother's silence concerned the doctor even more.

He also corroborated information from News24's source that the father "pleaded innocence as to when, how, and how much the baby ingested".

News24 reported that the father allegedly told doctors that he did not know what had happened to the child.

After doctors pushed for answers and told him that they needed to know what happened because the baby could die if he didn't receive the proper treatment, he allegedly conceded that the baby had found drugs in the house.

"Hiding behind their human rights when their drug use and its awful repercussions are addressed is the appalling excuse many parents give as a reason to justify their shameless consumption of mind-altering substances. But, once again, Unchain Our Children, together with the social worker and SAPS, intervened immediately."

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