South Africa, Johannesburg – A 17-year old Soweto mom is alleged to have kept quiet as her boyfriend, 30, raped and assaulted her 2-year-old daughter, who has since died.
The teenager and her boyfriend were on Wednesday expected to appear in court after being arrested and charged with the rape and murder of the toddler.
A doctor, who was treating the child who had been rushed there by the mother, informed the police.
According to Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, members of the Family Violence, Child Protection, and Sexual Offences (FCS) specialised unit were summoned to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital on November 16 by the child’s doctor.
The doctor told them the child had been brought in the previous night as she had been assaulted and raped.
“An urgent forensic investigation was embarked on and all relevant forensic evidence collected for processing by the SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory.
“It was only on Tuesday, November 17 that the 17-year old mother of the victim came to report the incident to the police. Nevertheless, this assisted police in obtaining vital information towards building a solid case in order to secure arrests.”
Peter said during the preliminary investigation, police were able to establish that on Sunday, November 15, the mother of the toddler had left her in the care of her boyfriend for about two hours.
On her return around 8.30 pm, she said the boyfriend was gone.
However, the boyfriend’s father was home and the child asleep. She went to sleep as she did not want to disturb the child.
“According to the complainant, she woke up in the middle of the night to check on the child only to find the child with serious injuries to her face. She took the child to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital for medical attention.
“The outcome of the medical examination found that the child had been penetrated and that is when the doctor called the police.
“Sadly, the child succumbed to injuries and was certified dead on Thursday 19 November. The initial case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was subsequently changed to murder.
“Investigations continue pending the outcome of the forensic analysis as police seek to build a watertight case that can stand in court and see justice served.
“Police have reason to believe that the deceased child may have suffered previous abuse at the hands of her step-father and this went unreported. This is the basis of the arrest of the teenage mother who in this instance, only reported the incident to the police two days later,” Peters said.
The Acting Provincial Commissioner of the police in Gauteng, Major General Patricia Rampota welcomed the arrest and urged the investigating team to ensure all bases were covered towards attaining justice for the child.
“The SAPS remains committed to upholding the rights of victims of gender-based and domestic violence and femicide, and to prioritise the investigation of all cases where women, children and other vulnerable persons are victims,” she said.