Two boys playing soccer were hailed as heroes by their community after saving newborn twin boys from certain death after they were abandoned on a field near the Westridge Tennis Stadium and left exposed to the elements.
The boys had gone to the bottom of the field in search of sticks to use as goal posts for a soccer match on Wednesday when they discovered the tiny babies lying unclothed and exposed to the afternoon drizzle. The babies were covered in blood and afterbirth.
Sibusiso Hlongwane, 11, and Ndumiso Madondo, 12, said they were shocked at their discovery. “We didn’t hear them cry or anything like that, we just saw them as we were walking,” said Sibusiso.
Although frightened by the experience, the boys quickly ran to the Mayville police station across the road.
An officer who attended the scene, but declined to be named, said, “The boys were visibly shaken. They were panting when they got to the station. They told us they had found the babies at the field.
“We went there to investigate and found them there. They must have been there for less than an hour. If they had stayed for longer, they wouldn’t have survived.”
The officer said it appeared the mother had abandoned the babies at the bottom of an embankment shortly after giving birth.
“It makes you wonder what could have driven the mother to do something like this.”
The officer said her male colleagues were too squeamish to go and rescue the babies, so she took the plunge.
“They were too horrified to look at the babies. When I got there, I was frightened myself, but my maternal instincts kicked in.”
The babies were immediately wrapped in a blanket and an ambulance took them to King Edward Hospital.
The officer said she would consider adopting the twins if the mother doesn’t come forward.
“I want to show that police care. I’m a mother and I’m part of society. I see it as my responsibility.”
Police said a case of concealment of birth had been opened.
The boys who found the babies have been hailed as heroes by residents of the Cato Crest informal settlement.
“I told my mother about what happened, but at first she didn’t believe me. Later she said she was proud of what we did because we helped save the babies’ lives,” said Sibusiso, who wants to be a social worker when he grows up.
Ndumiso said he wants to become a lawyer and make lots of money.
Nontobeka Ndlela, public relations officer for King Edward Hospital, said the twins were doing “very well”.
“They are currently in the nursery and doctors are keeping an eye on them.”