Gauteng to charge Baby M's father as her 'alleged rapist'
Gauteng Social Development authorities say they are "determined" to get justice for rape survivor Baby M - and that means ensuring that her father‚ who the department has identified as her "alleged rapist"‚ faces charges.
Baby M's mother was sentenced to life in prison for aiding and abetting her rapist‚ after she insisted her gravely injured two-month-old daughter had not been raped‚ but had been injured by falling.
Despite the fact that the National Prosecuting Authority did not believe it had adequate evidence to charge Baby M's father for her rape‚ Gauteng DSD MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza has identified him as the infant's "alleged rapist".
She says he should‚ "at very least" face the same charges as the baby's mother - as he too has repeatedly insisted that his daughter wasn't raped. He told police and ENCA's Checkpoint that the child had been injured after the baby's mother found him in a car with another woman‚ she tried to open his car door and he drove away. He says Baby M's mother fell on top of her.
"If both adults were present during or around the time the crime was committed‚ it is odd that only the mother was found to be criminally liable.
"We are happy that the South African Police Services has agreed with us and has begun preparing a docket for prosecution. Along with this process‚ they have also requested a fresh analysis of semen as well as other circumstantial evidence that can lead to the arrest and successful prosecution of the father‚" said Mayathula-Khoza. Questioned about whether it was legally appropriate for her department to identify the baby's father as her alleged rapist‚ she responded: "We want justice to be done. Therefore it's important to find the culprit. People are innocent until proven guilty‚ but we do want justice for this child."
She admitted that her department had "dropped the ball" when it came to ensuring the infant's safety.
"The department is outraged firstly because the actual rapist is still at large‚ roaming the streets as a free man‚ and secondly because we have since established that the child protocols were not followed when Baby M was removed from South Africa and released illegally to her aunt across the border."
The department says investigations are under way to determine whether its staff should face disciplinary charges over the removal of the baby - who did not have a birth certificate at the time she was taken to Mozambique.