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The 9-month-old was allegedly sold for R300 to her attacker in Matatiele, in the Eastern Cape, in September last year, The Witness says.
He sliced off parts of her face and two fingers from her left hand.
He wrapped her in blankets and set her alight.
Another child heard her crying and called for help. She survived.
According to The Witness the toddler’s mother had been admitted to the Santa Tuberculosis Hospital before the attack, and had left her daughter in the care of a relative.
The child’s father was away on work.
A relative allegedly sold her to her boyfriend, who mutilated the child.
Matatiele police spokesman Raphael Motloung said a case of attempted murder was being investigated and no arrests had been made yet.