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Teen held for 'dumping' baby

By Zoë Mahopo | 2017-06-20 11:20:34.0

A Limpopo woman has asked for help from the authorities after her 14-year-old daughter allegedly threw her own baby into a pit latrine.

She made this appeal after her Grade 8 daughter was arrested at the weekend and appeared in the GaKgapane Magistrate's Court yesterday for attempted murder.

The family lives at Las Vegas village near GaKgapane.

Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said the six-month old baby was rushed to a local hospital after locals rescued him from the pit toilet.

The teen's 40-year-old mother told Sowetan ahead of her daughter's court appearance yesterday that she was still shaken by the incident.

The woman, who cannot be named to protect her minor daughter's identity, said she was shocked when the girl came knocking on the door last Saturday shouting that the baby had fallen into the latrine.

"I was very confused. I kept asking her how it happened. How did the baby fall into the toilet?"

She said she immediately went to seek help from neighbours who called the police and helped in pulling the baby out.

The tearful woman spoke of her initial disappointment when she found out that her under-age daughter was pregnant at the age of 13.

She said her daughter was impregnated by a 21-year-old man, adding that she did not know the boyfriend could be charged for statutory rape.

"I tried everything to reprimand her and make sure that she does not get into trouble. I was very hurt because all I wanted was for her to get an education and have a bright future," said the single mother who spoke about her daughter frequenting night spots before her pregnancy.

"She would go out to taverns until late at night. I'd go out looking for her... she is just a child."

The woman said she urged her daughter to return to school after giving birth.

"I don't know what else to do because she does not listen to me. I need help."

Yesterday, acting MEC for social development, Phophi Ramathuba, said she would investigate why officials failed to report a case of statutory rape when the girl fell pregnant and after childbirth.

Ramathuba said the girl's baby had been taken to a place of safety after his release from hospital. She said the girl would also be taken to a place of safety after her court appearance.

Ramathuba said the teenager would undergo mental evaluation as she might be suffering from postnatal depression.

The MEC also expressed concern about GaKgapane Hospital having a high rate of teenagers giving birth.

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