A baby beaten to death, and an abandoned baby found during the National Child Protection Week raises concern for the safety of our children.
South Africa – National Child Protection Week (CPW) is commemorated annually around the country to raise the awareness of the rights of children. The event, which began on 27 May, and ends on 2 June this year was launched at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Center in Durban, South Africa. The campaign led by the Minister of Social Development is a reminder of how important it is to protect children and create a safe and secure environment for them to live in.
The community of Modderriver, a small suburb in Kimberly South Africa, is reeling in shock at the gruesome death of a ten-month-old baby girl. Apparently, the young mother aged 16, was home alone with the baby on Saturday. She had just fed the child when the father, a 22 year old male returned home in a drunken state. He tried to force the baby to drink some orange juice but the child spat it out. Angered by the baby’s refusal to drink the juice he offered, he shouted and raged like a mad man, and slapped her on the buttocks. The mother panicked, and took a broom to ward off the father from attacking the child any further. Angered at her interference, he grabbed the broom and hit her. The young mother, frightened by his aggressive behavior ran out of the house and tried to get some help.
She returned to the house with a neighbor and found the man trying to revive the child he had so forcefully abused. The baby, who was badly beaten and kicked, died later on that evening in hospital. The police confirmed the arrest and charges of murder against the man.
In another story, the birth of a healthy baby girl at the Victory Hospital, in the Eastern Cape caused the young student to fear the wrath of her parents. Upon leaving the hospital, she wrapped the baby in a clean cotton sheet, pinned a cell phone number on the blanket and left the baby in nearby bushes.
An elderly couple walking towards the shopping complex heard a baby cry and upon checking found the abandoned baby. They alerted the police who have since confirmed the baby girl, named Nodegree, is healthy and placed in the care of social workers.
During the investigation, the police discovered that the father was a 24 year old, BSc second year student at the University of Forte Hare. They traced the young mother, also a student, who admitted to the abandonment of the baby because she was scared of her parents. She has since been charged with concealment of pregnancy.
As the Child protection week ends, the discovery of a baby beaten to death and another one abandoned, causes the public to realize how serious this situation has become. Vulnerable children, orphans, and youth need better protection assistance from both government and public.
Written by Laura Oneale