Baby M 'wasn’t raped'‚ says dad – who still sees her‚ despite mom’s jail term
Baby M’s father continues to insist the child wasn’t raped when she was just two months old‚ but was injured during a fight between her parents. He’s also denied any suggestion that he raped the infant.
“I won’t father a child and then rape her‚ a two-month-old-baby. I don’t know what rape is‚” he told eNCA’s Checkpoint.
And he said he continues to see the child‚ now almost two-years-old‚ when he visits her in Mozambique. The baby’s removal from the country‚ without any official paperwork‚ is now the subject of a police investigation.
A fortnight ago‚ Baby M’s mother was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment for protecting the baby’s rapist‚ whose identity remains unknown.
A 29-year-old woman who protected the man who raped her two-month-old daughter was sentenced to life in prison by the Johannesburg High Court on April 12 2018.
The father supported the 29-year-old woman throughout her trial‚ and held her hand after she was sentenced to life behind bars.
He maintains the baby was injured after her mother found him with a girlfriend‚ and he drove away as she tried to open his car door.
“Then I started the car. I didn’t know that (the mother) was carrying the baby. Then after 30 minutes she came to me and said the child was injured.”
Asked if he knew that seminal fluid was found on his baby’s nappy and private parts‚ the father responded: “They said they found the evidence‚ because I was at the court‚ but this is all unbelievable because what we know is the child fell.”
He further insisted that the first doctor who examined his daughter did not find that she had been raped. Dr Shalin Singh‚ who was the second doctor to examine the baby and who found clear evidence that she was raped‚ has revealed that a junior doctor had initially not thoroughly examined the infant. The junior admitted her to casualty‚ based on her mother’s claims that she had fallen.
Confronted with Singh’s evidence that the baby had been torn inside‚ but suffered no external injuries consistent with a fall‚ the father responded: “They must re-examine the nappy and check the semen again.”
The court heard that there was an insufficient quantity of sperm in the seminal fluid to compile a DNA profile.
Asked how he would feel if it was indeed true that his baby had been raped‚ the father stated that he “wouldn’t feel good at all. This is very serious”.
Baby M had to undergo five surgeries to repair the damage done to her tiny body. Yet‚ unlike many other cases involving child rape‚ she was not removed from her family to ensure her safety.
They said they found the evidence‚ because I was at the court‚ but this is all unbelievable because what we know is the child fell.
The Gauteng Department of Social Development admitted that it had “lost” Baby M – and is working with police to track her down in Mozambique‚ where she was taken by a female relative.
Speaking to Checkpoint‚ the Department’s deputy director general of social welfare‚ Onkemetse Kabasia‚ said officials were still investigating how the baby had been taken out the country without any legal documentation.
“At face value‚ we understand that the social workers who were dealing with this case handed the child over to the aunt‚ and the aunt left the country. And how the child left the country without proper papers‚ remains to be identified and verified through the investigation that we will be undertaking.
“There has been confirmation that the child is in Mozambique. That has been confirmed… we don’t know where. But we know that she is with the aunt‚” said Kabasia.
Kabasia denied that the department’s apparent lack of care for Baby M was driven by the fact that‚ although she was born in South Africa‚ both her parents were from Mozambique.
“Any child who is born in South Africa‚ irrespective of where they come from‚ is entitled to the same protection‚ legal protection‚ as any other child in South Africa. The fact that this child is born to Mozambican parents shouldn’t be a factor that should lead to her being treated differently in terms of the law‚” Kabasia said.
Following that interview‚ department spokesperson Mbangwa Xaba stated that officials were helping the South African police find Baby M and her aunt‚ and bring them back to South Africa.
Xaba said Baby M would be housed at a place of safety when she returned‚ and has confirmed that the baby’s aunt was regarded as “a person of interest” in an ongoing police investigation.