Infant killing scourge soars in SA

21 September 2017 - 06:51 By Farren Collins
Image: Thinkstock

Saturday's murder of a day-old baby on the Cape Flats is one of 19 cases of neonaticide estimated for every 100,000 births in South Africa.

The infant, whose 32-year-old mother was arrested and charged with murder, was reported to have only been alive for a few hours. His mother allegedly strangled him and hid him under a mattress at their Beacon Valley home in Mitchells Plain.

Neonaticide occurs when a baby is murdered in the first 28 days of life, according to the Medical Research Council, which also released the findings.

The Western Cape's social development department pledged to assist police with their investigation into the murder as the rate of child murders in the province continues to climb.

The Trauma Centre for Survivors estimates over 50 children have been murdered in the Western Cape so far this year.

The suspect mother, who has four other children, appeared in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

She is expected to remain in police custody until her bail application.

In a statement, the department said that the mother's other children had been taken to live with a relative.

"As the custodians of the Children's Act of 2005, social workers from our Mitchells Plain local office have intervened to protect the other four children the woman has," the department statement read.

"The children have been placed in alternative care of a relative and counselling assistance is being rendered to the children.

"We condemn this brutal murder and the alleged circumstances of this incident in the strongest terms possible. That the alleged murderer is allegedly the mother of the baby is most outrageous."

* In terms of the press code, TimesLIVE may not identify the woman in order to protect her children.