Baby found in pit toilet dies

THE newborn baby found in a long-drop pit toilet has died.

The baby girl, who had not been named at the time of her death, had been discarded by her mother in the informal settlement of Charlodale at KwaDukuza on Wednesday.

Paramedics said the child was clinging to life when they found her.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Jeff Wicks said: "On arrival at the scene paramedics and firefighters dismantled the structure.

"Once they had gained access to the dank and dark pit, a firefighter clad in protective gear entered the toilet and retrieved the baby."

Wicks added that the infant was "coated in faeces and was in a serious condition".

Stanger Hospital manager Dr Adri Mansvelder said: "The child was almost dead when she arrived at the hospital. She was very small at 1,8kg.

"She had severe hypothermia, very low blood sugar, high heart rate and abrasions to her forearm."

Mansvelder said the child died despite doctors' and nurses' attempts to revive her for almost an hour.

Mansvelder said the dumping of babies was "disturbing trend".

In February, Sowetan reported about the dumping of two babies in pit toilets in KwaZulu-Natal in less than a month.

Childline's Joan van Niekerk saidpregnant women who were not engaged or married were ridiculed and abandoned, and often abandoned babies after birth.

Often there was no support from the male partner.

Paramedics and rescue officials say they dealt with an average of two cases a month of abandoned children in the province.

In most cases the babies are found dead.

Police yesterday said they had no leads as to who the mother of the baby girl was but confirmed that she would be charged with murder once found.