Police are baffled by an incident in which a toddler was found mutilated in bed next to his mother.
Thembi Ngwenya, 22, of Barcelona Extension 25 in Daveyton, Ekurhuleni, woke up to find her 15-month-old baby son Sibusiso lying dead without one ear and a thumb yesterday.
"It is weird. It is also unprecedented," a senior Etwatwa policeman said at the scene.
Etwatwa police spokesman Constable Mabote Motopi said it was sinister that no blood was found on the bed or the clothes the baby was wearing.
An inquest docket would be opened, he said.
Members of the family said yesterday that the incident had shocked them.
Ngwenya said: "My baby, other family members and I went to bed relatively early on Monday night. It was at about 8pm when Sibusiso finally dozed off and I followed soon thereafter.
"As usual, at about 4am I woke up to prepare his milk formula for him. I was shocked when he failed to respond to my repeated soft calls.
"When I shook him he was cold and on close inspection I saw that his left ear was severed and a part of his right thumb was missing."
When Sowetan arrived at the family home, relatives were still stunned by the incident.
Neighbours stood quietly in disbelief with their hands on their heads.
According to Thembi's mother, Phindi Ngwenya, all the doors were still locked when they heard her daughter's loud screams.
"What is surprising is that not a single drop of blood was found on the bed or on Sibusiso.
"There are no big rats in the house," she said.
The dead baby's great grandmother, Agnes Mzima, ruled out suggestions that Sibusiso might have been attacked by rats or other big rodents because their yard was well maintained.
"This is a clear case of demonic forces at work," she said with tears in her eyes.