Johannesburg - A three-year-old Free State girl was gang-raped and stabbed multiple times by three teenagers after she was left alone by her mother.
Free State police said on Tuesday that the girl’s mother had abandoned the toddler to go to a tavern in Sakanyoka.
Three teenagers entered the house and kidnapped the young girl, taking her to an industrial area in Thaba Nchu.
The trio raped the girl, stabbed her several times all over her body and, believing she was dead, left her body in a stretch of veld.
On Monday night, a resident heard the child’s cries from inside the industrial building and went to investigate.
She found the girl in a pool of blood, but she was still breathing.
“Police and paramedics were called, and the girl was found alive but in a critical condition,” said Free State police spokesman Consolation Mokoale.
The toddler was taken to Pelonomi Medi-Clinic, where she remains in a critical condition.
Mokoale said the police received a tip-off shortly afterwards, and three boys, between the ages of 15 and 18, were arrested on charges of kidnapping, attempted murder and rape.
They were due to appear at the Selosesha Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
This is yet another rape of a young child in just the past few weeks.
Another incident in Galeshewe, Northern Cape, of a six-week-old baby being raped, allegedly by her uncle, enraged the nation last month.
Last week, it was reported that the baby – set to be discharged from hospital after weeks in a critical condition – had suffered a setback in her treatment and was transferred to a Bloemfontein hospital last Tuesday.
Last month, a 17-year-old was arrested for the rape of a four-year-old boy in Itsoseng, North West.
That same month a 10-year-old pupil from Mapetla, Soweto, was allegedly raped by his middle-aged teacher.