DURBAN, South Africa – A 28-year-old woman appeared in the Mtunzini Magistrate’s Court court on Monday on charges of attempted murder after a newborn was found in Isithebe area north of Durban on Sunday morning.
The newborn was discovered in a bucket near a bush next to a river by a passerby who contacted the authorities. The newborn was treated for exposure to the cold by first responders from IPSS ambulance services.
According police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala the newborn is being treated at a local hospital.
This is the latest case of child abandonment in recent months as at the beginning of June a newborn was discovered on the pavement in Chatsworth.
In May the body of a newborn was discovered in Durban central.
Ward councillor Kathleen Naidoo condemned the act, labelling it as callous.
“This was uncalled for. We have hospitals, clinics and other mechanisms in place to help people in situations like this.”
“We’re already dealing with issues like the pandemic, violence against women and children there is no need to compound these social ills by adding child abandonment to list, but we are grateful that the child is survived and is in hospital,” she said.
Adeshni Naicker operations manager at Childline KZN expressed concern over recent abandonment cases and implored mothers who cannot cope to consider other alternatives.
“Expectant mothers who feel they are unable to care for their babies should explore the option of adoption. There are many organizations as well as the Department of Social Development who facilitates these adoptions. There are also many private social workers who specialize in adoption.”
Youandi Gilain from Open Arms SA said that the national lockdown has made life harder for expectant mothers.
“Mother’s who have given birth during lockdown had to suffer a lot as home affairs and SASSA was closed so that means no grants so no financial help to get essentials.”
Gilain believes that more should be done to stem the tide in what is concerning trend.
“There is not enough done to address child abandonment. Hospitals, clinics and social workers should be more helpful and kinder to those who seek help. We all have our opinions but that should not stand in the way of being kind and help others. No one should fear to ask for help.”
Expectant mothers who are struggling can contact Open Arms SA on 084 488 1359 or Childline KZN on 080 005 5555 for assistance