Case against parents of abused baby moved to High Court

The case agaist two parents who were arrested on charges of child abuse, was transferred from the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court to the North Gauteng High Court due to the seriousness of the case. The parents of the baby, who is now eight months old, were arrested in August this year after AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit assisted doctors and a social workier in July to lay criminal charges. The baby is currently in safe custody. The trial will start on 19 July 2021.

In July, the baby girl was admitted to a hospital in Pretoria with several fractures (which according to doctors had happened on different occasions) and other injuries consistent with child abuse. Prior to this, she was was admitted to the same hospital in April 2020 (when she was five weeks old) – also with injuries consistent with child abuse. Her doctors and a private social worker then opened a case at the Department of Social Development and suggested that the baby be removed from her parents’ care. The case was however thrown out due to a lack of evidence, according to the Magsitrate. The baby was temporarily placed in her grandmother’s care, but afterwards returned to her parents.

According to Phyllis Vorster, prosecutor at AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, the move to the High Court is a positive shift, as it seems the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is now taking active steps to ensure the case receives the necessary attention “It is however tragic that the system has forsaken innocent child in the first place and allowed her to be returned to a life-threatening environment earlier this year. The Private Prosecution Unit will continue to monitor this case to ensure that the baby receives the necessary protection and that justice prevails.”

AfriForum supports the 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children that kicks off tomorrow. The civil rights organisation is planning several actions in this regard and the Private Prosecution Unit will contiue to act in the interest of women and children in cases where they are let down by the criminal justice system.

Read previous media statements on the case here:

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