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Johannesburg - A woman allegedly abandoned her toddler on the highway out of anger after her mother had accused her of allowing herself to be raped when she was young.
This was the testimony in the Vereeniging Magistrate’s Court of Constable Molebogeng Phakathi, who was testifying in the bail application of the boy’s mother.
During the argument, she said, the woman allegedly told her 19-year-old daughter that she had kept quiet about the incident and not told her about it because she had wanted to be raped.
In a fit of anger, the daughter then woke her sleeping child, walked to the busy N1 highway near the Grasmere offramp and left him there.
A truck driver driving at night had to swerve suddenly to avoid hitting the 2-year-old, who had wandered into the middle of the road, Phakathi said.
The child was more than 3km away from the home he shared with his mother and grandmother.
The teenager, who is in Grade 12, faces charges of attempted murder and child abuse.
Phakathi, who works for the Child Protection Unit and is also the investigating officer, said the woman should be denied bail.
In her testimony, Phakathi said the baby was abandoned on April 2 and rescued by police officers after he was nearly hit by the truck.
Investigations revealed later
that the woman, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of her child, returned the day after the argument to her Orange Farm home and allegedly told her mother that the child was missing.
She then took all her clothes and left without saying where she was going.
However, when the baby’s grandmother heard on the radio about an abandoned child, she went to the police station to enquire, and discovered it was her grandson.
Word got out that the woman was wanted, and residents at the informal settlement where she was hiding apprehended her and called the police.
In response to magistrate Leon Fereirra’s questions, Phakathi said the woman had admitted she had left the child on the road out of anger.
The child is at a place of safety.
The State opposed bail.
The magistrate said he had considered that the child was at a safe place, “and I do not have to consider a punishment and sentence now”.
He set bail at R500.
Speaking outside court, the woman’s mother said relations between her and the accused were strained and that they argued a lot.
“I will take her to a psychologist and for counselling so that they can help her,” she said.
The matter was postponed to May 20.