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500 Babies Dumped in Cape Town

Leighton Koopman, Die Burger

Cape Town – Approximately 500 babies have been dumped by their mothers in the Mother City so far this year, but most of them have survived. A recent survey by Child Welfare found that it is mostly young mothers who abandon their babies. On rare occasions, it does happen that the mother kills the baby and gets rid of the body. Niresh Ramklass, executive head of Child Welfare Cape Town, said it is sad to see how many babies are dumped when there is a solution.

“There are many couples who are on a long waiting list to adopt children. The mother could take her baby to any adoption agency. Here a good home and family will be found for the child,” he said. Reasons for dumping babies. Ramklass gave five reasons which could possibly be the main causes for babies being dumped: “Teen pregnancies, drugs, rape, poverty and women expecting foreigners’ babies.

“If the mother has a child with a foreigner, it sometimes happens that the community rejects her and the child. “Some of the people in informal settlements reject the baby of a foreigner. The women then live in fear of attacks on themselves too. For them, the only way out is to get rid of the baby.”

In the latest incident, a 17-year-old mother appeared in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Thursday on charges of murder and perjury in connection with the murder of her six-week-old baby, Simamkele Qhana Baleni. She allegedly left him under a plate of corrugated iron on Monday, but later claimed he was kidnapped from the Khayelitsha day hospital. The matter was heard in camera because she is under age. Only the accused’s mother was allowed in court. The State prosecutor said she was not allowed to give comment. Attempts to get hold of the charge sheet were also unsuccessful.

Her lawyers said she did not apply for bail, Sapa reported. The accused was being held in a place of safety and would appear in court again on November 5.

– Die Burger

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