Baby Lerato enjoys first Christmas

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Baby Lerato, who turned 10 weeks old, spent her first Christmas at home after undergoing the first in a series of 10 surgeries that will have to be performed to repair severe injuries sustained after she was raped on November 27. Photo: Danie van der Lith

Kimberley - Baby Lerato, who turned 10 weeks old this week, spent her first Christmas at home after undergoing the first in a series of 10 surgeries that will have to be performed to repair severe injuries sustained after she was raped, allegedly by her uncle on November 27.

A gynaecologist at the Kimberley Hospital, who first attended to the baby, had described her injuries as being the worst he had ever witnessed on such a young infant.

The baby was sent for a check-up at Universitas Hospital in Bloemfontein on December 23 and will return in February for further surgery as well as possibly to remove the colostomy bag.

The mother stated that her wide-eyed baby was doing well under the circumstances although her internal organs were still in the process of healing.

“She drinks breast milk and eats Purity. I slept upright in a hard chair while my baby was in hospital but I did it willingly because I want her to get better.”

She indicated that it would not be wise for the baby’s uncle to be granted bail for fear that he would hurt her and the family.

“I was afraid that he was going to kill my baby but I had no idea that he would rape her. He should serve time in prison and accept responsibility for what he has done.”

The young mother is studying towards a Bachelor of Social Work degree with the University of South Africa.

The baby’s grandmother said she had prepared canned pilchards for their Christmas meal, thanks to donations that were made to the family by members of the public following the terrible ordeal.

“Our food supplies are running out. I wish we had some meat to celebrate but God is good. I thank Him for saving my granddaughter everyday because it is a miracle that she is alive. She is strong, beautiful girl and a survivor.”

The bail application for the 24-year-old accused was postponed in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court until January 8 next year to allow time for the completion of the psychologist’s evaluation report.

He will remain in custody until his next court appearance.

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