Pretoria – Police in Mpumalanga have “strongly condemned” an incident in which a day-old infant was abandoned next to Carolina hospital and are appealing to community members to assist them in finding the mother of the child.
“The one-day-old baby boy was found wrapped in a blanket and abandoned next to the fence of the hospital by a passer-by. It is said that on Friday, 20 May 2022, at about 19h30, police attended a complaint at Carolina Hospital, whereby an infant was left unattended,” said Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.
“It is alleged that the security officer at Carolina Hospital posted to work at the gate was called by a passer-by, alerting the guard about a baby boy who was left without care behind an electricity transformer next to the fence of the hospital.”
Police said the infant is believed to be one day old, and his weight was 2.490 kilograms.
He was found clothed in a vest and trousers and was wrapped with a blanket. The child was subsequently taken inside the hospital for medical care by the hospital staff.
“Upon arrival of the police, a case of child neglect was opened, hence the manhunt for the child's mother. The preliminary investigation so far suggests his mother could have given birth to him at a nearby hospital as the records at the said hospital does not have information of child birth recently, which could be linked to this incident,” said Mohlala.
“Be as it may, police urge anyone who might have any information regarding this incident to contact the investigation officer, Detective Sergeant Mmeli Nkosi of Elukwatini family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit (FCS) on 071 177 0927. Alternatively, members of the public can call the Crime Stop number at 0860 010 111 or send information via My SAPS App.”
Police promised that all received information “will be treated as confidential”, and callers may opt to remain anonymous.
Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, has urged community members to make use of available social services, especially when they come across challenges with regard to maintaining children.
“The government has put in place a system to support women or mothers so that they properly raise their children. Bearing in mind the socio-economic challenges that women face on daily basis, however, that does not permit them to neglect or abandon their children,” said Manamela.
“Therefore, the law will have to take its course on this one because police are there to protect the vulnerable and, in this case, the infant.”