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 situation, It is for this reason that Door of Hope founder Cheryl Allen is working on a plan to establish drop-off zones in Soweto and Diepsloot to give women “safer” places to leave their babies. “On average, between four and 18 children are dropped off at our centres per month. The Door of Hope has saved nearly 1 000 babies since its creation, but there are still hundreds abandoned each month,” she said. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
500 babies dumped in Cape Town
Leighton Koopman, Die Burger
Cape Town - Approximately 500 babies have been dumped by their mothers in the Mother City so far this year, but most of them have survived.
A recent survey by Child Welfare found that it is mostly young mothers who abandon their babies. On rare occasions, it does happen that the mother kills the baby and gets rid of the body. Niresh Ramklass, executive head of Child Welfare Cape Town, said it is sad to see how many babies are dumped when there is a solution. "There are many couples who are on a long waiting list to adopt children. The mother could take her baby to any adoption agency. Here a good home and family will be found for the child," he said.
Reasons for dumping babies
Ramklass gave five reasons which could possibly be the main causes for babies being dumped: "Teen pregnancies, drugs, rape, poverty and women expecting foreigners' babies. In the latest incident, a 17-year-old mother appeared in the Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court on Thursday on charges of murder and perjury in connection with the murder of her six-week-old baby, Simamkele Qhana Baleni. She allegedly left him under a plate of corrugated iron on Monday, but later claimed he was kidnapped from the Khayelitsha day hospital. The matter was heard in camera because she is under age.
Many SA newborns dumped in rubbish
Babies of all races increasingly found dumped in dust-bins, warns Medical Research Council Johannesburg – Babies dumped in Gauteng were...
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