ABANDONED bUNDLE

Better Essays
Dumped newborn adds to long list
May 2 2012 at 09:00am
By OMPHITLHETSE MOOKI AND KUTLWANO OLIFANT
A baby is found abandoned on the corner of Chritiaan de Wet Drive and Wilgeoord Road in Kloofendal, one of 200 abandoned each month in Joburg and Soweto. Some of them somehow survive shallow graves, hours in murky pit toilets and cold, stinking dump sites.
On Tuesday, yet another baby was added to a long list of newborns dumped by their mothers soon after birth – one of an estimated 200 found abandoned in Joburg and Soweto every month. On an average, only 60 are found alive each month. Wrapped in a black refuse bag and tossed into an open field at Dhlamini in Soweto, it was the little boy’s movements that caught the attention of a 13-year-old passerby. This baby was rescued and taken to hospital for treatment – unlike the baby found dead in a basket in Soweto last month, or the one whose remaining limbs were seen eaten by a pig in Taung, North West, last year. Only two days earlier, another newborn had been left on the doorstep of a house in Zola, Soweto. “We don’t know who dropped the child off on the doorstep… We are appealing to residents to assist us,” said Makhubela.
Desperation brought on by unemployment, casual relationships that often see fathers disappearing once women fell pregnant, and teenagers concealing their pregnancies from their parents, are frequent reasons given for the rise in child abandonment cases. Makhubela said most mothers, once traced, plead poverty, “saying their children’s father had left, or that they did not have money”. What most do not realise is that abandoning a child could lead to a charge of murder, he said.
Nkosi’s Haven director Gail Johnson condemned the abandonments, saying women had options to prevent pregnancies. However, Mbuyiselo Botha, of the Sonke Gender Justice Network, said it was advisable to reflect on the “country’s social system” instead of condemning the women without understanding their

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