Children play with dead infant

Councillor Adolph Marema.


A dead baby was recovered from the Jukskei River on the morning of 2 September after four children, who were playing nearby, discovered the tiny body floating in the water.

The little boy, estimated by paramedics to be 18 weeks old, was taken away by the forensics unit.

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Ward 116 councillor Adolph Marema, who was called to the scene by the Community Policing Forum commander, Mary Mamabolo, claimed the children had been seen playing with the body in the water by people on a foot bridge who, on closer scrutiny, realised what it was and brought it on to the river bank.

Marema said on arrival, he called the police, chased the children away and was upset to see some people in the crowd being unmoved. “It was distressful to see a [dead baby] for the first time. It made me realise the level of heartlessness and social decay in society,” he said, adding that, afterwards, he went home to sleep away the traumatic experience.

Mamabolo said the children claimed they had been looking for frogs when they found the body.

Marema associated the dumping with social and moral decay coupled with poverty and frustration. He said, “Baby dumping is prompted by desperation due to unemployment and poverty, which force women into untenable relations that result in unwanted pregnancies and forced abortions when their partners refuse to take responsibility or chase them away when informed of the pregnancy.”

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He added that the most desperate seemed to be migrant women whose support system is limited. “Others also dump children for fear of being judged to be of loose morals by society.”

Alex News has reported several instances of foetuses found on streets and in public toilets. Others are spewed out of blocked sewerage pipes and storm water drains leading to the river. This is in addition to reports by clinics of girls coming for treatment after botched abortions at backyard clinics.

Details: Adolph Marema 079 617 1957.

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Leseho Manala

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