Two new­borns found dead in dust­bins

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - TANKISO MAKHETHA tankiso.makhetha@inl.co.za

SOME of them some­how sur­vive shal­low graves, hours in murky pit toi­lets and cold, stink­ing dump sites.

But this wasn’t to be for two baby girls who were found dead in Sand­ton – one after be­ing found stuffed in a bread packet over the week­end.

The first baby was found yes­ter­day in a dust­bin near a shop­ping cen­tre in Wood­mead and the other new­born was found in a dust­bin across the road from Net­care Sun­ninghill Hos­pi­tal on Fri­day night.

Net­care spokesper­son Chris Botha said paramedics from Sun­ninghill Hos­pi­tal were alerted by a home­less man who said he had found a baby in a rub­bish bin across the road.

“The paramedics went across the road and found a new­born baby girl stuffed into a bread packet.

“Trag­i­cally, they found that the baby had died be­fore their ar­rival. The cause of death will form part of the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Botha said.

In a sep­a­rate dis­cov­ery, a baby girl was found wrapped in a blan­ket in a dust­bin in Wood­mead.

Iden­ti­cal to the Sun­ninghill dis­cov­ery, a man go­ing through the dust­bin found the baby.

ER24 spokesper­son Werner Ver­maak said the man called se­cu­rity guards at the shop­ping com­plex, who later con­tacted paramedics and the po­lice.

Sadly, there was noth­ing that paramedics could do for the lit­tle girl. It ap­peared as if she had been dumped dur­ing the early hours of the morn­ing. She was later de­clared dead by paramedics, he said.

De­spite there be­ing no statis­tics quan­ti­fy­ing the num­ber of aban­doned chil­dren, re­ports have sug­gested that around 3 500 chil­dren are aban­doned an­nu­ally in South Africa.

This trans­lates to around 300 chil­dren a month.

In her re­search pa­per ti­tled “Sad, Bad and Mad”, Deirdre El­iz­a­beth Blackie said 65% of aban­doned chil­dren are new­borns, 90% of whom are un­der the age of one.

Blackie fur­ther said 70% of chil­dren are aban­doned in un­safe ar­eas which in­clude toi­lets, drains, sew­ers and gut­ters. Th­ese were fol­lowed by rub­bish sites, dust­bins, land­fills, parks and the veld.

It is es­ti­mated that 200 ba­bies are found aban­doned in greater Joburg and Soweto ev­ery month.

On av­er­age, only 60 are found alive each month.

The Star’s sis­ter pa­per, the Pre­to­ria News, has pre­vi­ously re­ported that dumped ba­bies have be­come a large part of non­nat­u­ral, un­de­ter­mined deaths in the zero to four-years-old age group.

This news­pa­per re­port was based on com­men­tary pro­vided by the Gaut­eng Foren­sic Pathol­ogy Ser­vice.

“Th­ese ba­bies in dust­bins, gut­ters or dumps – who are aborted or mis­car­ried new­borns be­ing dis­posed of – are be­com­ing a large part of un­de­ter­mined deaths (of young chil­dren) in Gaut­eng,” said Pro­fes­sor Jea­nine Vellema dur­ing a re­cent pre­sen­ta­tion on fa­tal in­juries in the prov­ince.

Around 300 chil­dren a month found aban­doned

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