Mother of four behind bars for the alleged murder of her newborn baby

By Farren Collins

Saturday’s murder of a day-old baby on the Cape Flats is one of 19 cases of neonaticide estimated for every 100‚000 live births that occur in South Africa.

The infant‚ whose 32-year-old mother was arrested and charged with murder‚ was reported to have only been alive for a few hours. His mother allegedly strangled him and hid him under a mattress at their Beacon Valley home in Mitchells Plain.

Neonaticide occurs when a baby is murdered within 28 days of being born according to the Medical Research Council‚ which also released the findings.

The Western Cape Department of Social Development pledged to assist police with their investigation into the boy’s murder as the rate of child murders in the province this year continues to climb.

Civil society group the Trauma Centre for Survivors estimated the number of murdered children in the Western Cape to be well above 50 for 2017.

The woman‚ who has four other children‚ appeared in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday where she accepted legal aid representation from the state. She is expected to remain in police custody until her bail application on Tuesday.

In a statement the department said that the woman’s other children had been taken to live with a relative.

“As the custodians of the Children’s Act of 2005‚ social workers from our Mitchells Plain local office have intervened to protect the other four children the woman has‚” the statement read.

“The children have been placed in alternative care of a relative and counselling assistance is being rendered to the children.

“We condemn this brutal murder and the alleged circumstances of this incident in the strongest terms possible. That the alleged murderer is allegedly the mother of the baby is most outrageous.”

* In terms of the Press Code TimesLIVE may not identify the woman in order to protect her other children.

– TimesLIVE

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