Cape Town - Two inquest dockets have been opened following the deaths of a homeless man and a baby girl, allegedly victims of this week’s bitter winter weather.
A passerby found the body of a homeless man in Diep River about 7.30am on Thursday.
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said they could not speculate whether it was the cold that had killed him.
In Strandfontein, a Sewende Laan informal settlement family believe the cold killed their 6-week-old daughter early on Wednesday.
An autopsy is still to be performed.
Fatima Safodien, 24, found Stacey’s lifeless body when she got up in the early hours to check on her daughter.
“When I looked at her face it was red and she wasn’t breathing… The past couple of nights have been very cold here and I believe that this was the cause of my baby’s death.”
Stacey’s father, Clinton Moses, 25, said he tried to revive the baby by warming her body, but to no avail.
“It must have been the cold weather that killed her. The living conditions are very bad here.”
Stacey’s death comes just a year after Safodien and Moses lost their first child, a newborn girl, to cot death.
Social Development MEC Albert Fritz said the incident was tragic, and the department would be helping vulnerable families throughout winter.
“The death of this baby is a sad incident. The department has dispatched social workers to the family to provide trauma counselling and support,” he said.
“We are also committed to assisting the vulnerable and homeless to stay out of the cold weather this winter. In the past we have been in that particular area of Strandfontein, and had given out 200 blankets in preparation for the cold weather.” –
Additional reporting by Natasha Bezuidenhout