The body of a baby was found in a cooler bag on Hartenbos beach on Tuesday morning.
THE BODY OF THE BABY WAS FOUND CONCEALED IN A COOLER BAG
According to police spokesperson Warrant Officer Kappie Kapp, an inquest docket is being investigated after the body of a baby was found concealed in a cooler box, washed out on the beach at Hartenbos River mouth.
“This unfortunate discovery was made at 09:20 by a local resident while she was walking on the beach. Police were contacted, and all the remedies to their disposal were immediately activated.”Warrant Officer Kappie Kapp
The age and sex of the baby are not yet known.
The police have since appealed to the public to come forward with any information that might assist with the investigation.
DO YOU HAVE INFORMATION THAT COULD ASSIST THE POLICE?
The Investigation Officer, WO Marizaan Du Plessis, can be contacted with any information that would help the process at 044 6062235.
“Abandonment of infants in South Africa is, unfortunately, a common occurrence,” The Door of Hope organisation said.
“Many of these children are left to die, or simply abandoned, in dustbins, open fields, public toilets, or on train tracks.”
DESPERATE MOTHERS URGED NOT TO DUMP THEIR BABIES
The organisation knewew that something needed to be done.
“In 1999 the Berea Baptist Mission Church said, “something needs to be done”. Under the leadership of Pastor Cheryl Allen, the church made a hole in their wall and a ‘Baby Box’ was installed allowing for mothers to leave their babies any time day or night for the church to take care of them.”
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The moment a baby is placed, care workers on duty receive an electronic signal alerting them. The baby is taken in and the anonymity of the “donor” is ensured.
The Department of Social Development (DSD) spokesperson Joshua Chigome, told the media it was a crime for parents, legal guardians or caregivers to desert a child for no reason.
“While this is a growing problem, few know that it is a crime for a parent, legal guardian or caregiver to desert a child for no reason without any contact for three months. Of course, the law is supposed to protect the rights of children, and there are legal consequences for anyone who is found guilty of abandoning a child,” he said.
VARIOUS REASONS WHY PARENTS ABANDON THEIR CHILDREN
According to the report by IOL Chigome added that there are various reasons that parents abandon their children.
“The department notes that the primary reasons include financial issues, lack of family support, unwanted pregnancy, resentment of/towards the baby and fear of judgement from family members.”Joshua Chigome
The legal rights of infants and minors are protected by the Children’s Act 38 of 2005.
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IT IS A CRIME TO ABANDON YOUR CHILD
“It is important to note that not all of these abandonments are necessarily babies abandoned, for example, left on a field or in bins etc. These figures also include children abandoned by alternate caregivers such as grandparents, foster parents etc.”Joshua Chigome
He added that when a case of child abandonment is reported to a child protection organisation, the child protection protocol is activated, and the matter is assigned to a designated social worker for further investigation. This would include conducting a safety and risk assessment of the abandoned baby as well as their placement into temporary safe care, pending further statutory processes.
“The Department of Social Development would advise a parent who cannot cope with their newborn babies or toddlers to make contact with their nearest designated child protection agency who operates in their area for counselling services and advice, or request child protection services, if needed. The parent may also contact a health-care professional at their local community health centre or contact SAPS.”Joshua Chigome
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