The SAPS today arrested the parents of a six-month-old baby girl on criminal charges of attempted murder, assault with the intention to do grievous bodily harm and child abuse. AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit supported doctors on 24 July 2020 to lay these criminal charges. The baby is currently in safe custody.
The baby was admitted to a Pretoria hospital in July with various bone fractures (which, according to the doctors, had not been sustained simultaneously) and injuries that indicated attempted murder, assault with the intention to do grievous bodily harm and child abuse. She was admitted to the same hospital in April 2020 (when she was five weeks old) – also with injuries that point to child abuse. Her doctors and a private social worker then laid charges with the SAPS and the Department of Social Development, recommending that the child be removed from her parents’ custody. Although the parents appeared in court, the charges against the father were dropped because of an apparent lack of evidence. The SAPS then summarily closed the docket. At the time, the baby had been in the temporary care of her grandmother but was then returned to her parents.
According to Andrew Leask, Head Investigator at AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, AfriForum welcomes the arrests. “It is regrettable, however, that the system failed this vulnerable child in the first place and allowed earlier in the year for the child to be returned into a life-threatening environment. The Private Prosecution Unit will monitor the case and ensure that the baby receives the necessary protection and that the guilty parties are brought to book.”
Read the previous media statements here: