The 20-year-old mother of one, who said she would have kept her baby if there had been a heartbeat. Picture: Zanele Zulu/ANA
Durban - For six days a young Phoenix mother went about her daily routine while the body of her 4-and-a-half-month-old foetus lay in a plastic packet in a freezer at her family home.

She then put the package into a bin bag and, apparently unaware of what was inside, her father left it on the roadside for the garbage truck to collect.

Vagrants rummaging for something to eat made the horrific discovery outside the Clayfield house and began screaming, alerting neighbours who called the police.

A 20-year-old mother of one was arrested last week on charges of concealment of birth.

However, she was released on Monday after the case was withdrawn by the Verulam Magistrate’s Court.

She had given police a statement explaining her actions, telling them that she had been turned away twice from a local state hospital where she had gone for ultrasounds.

Curious bystanders gather around a black bin bag found to contain the body of a foetus, which was discovered by scavenging vagrants. Picture: Phoenix Crime Watch

Getting no joy, she turned to a stranger, a woman who claimed to be a nurse, who told her her unborn child had no heartbeat.

Devastated, she said she agreed to take tablets that would enable her to deliver the foetus, believing her child to have already died.

In a POST exclusive, the single mom, who has a 13-month-old child, denied that she had aborted the baby because she no longer wanted it. She claimed her actions were based on being denied an ultrasound and a check-up at Phoenix’s Mahatma Gandhi Memorial ­Hospital.

She was allegedly turned away on two occasions.

Speaking at her parent’s home, the call centre employee said she found out she was pregnant in April, “after feeling a change in my body. I approached the company doctor who said I was about three weeks along”.

In June she went to a local clinic as she wanted to do an ultrasound and be checked by a gynaecologist, she said.

She was given a letter and referred to the hospital.

However, she said she was turned away at the hospital, which saw patients from 7am to noon.

“As a mother to a 13-month-old daughter, I know the feelings that I should be experiencing during pregnancy. I had become ill and could not feel any movements from the baby,” she said.

“I went back to the clinic a week later and asked to be referred to the hospital again, as I desperately needed to do an ultrasound.”

She said she sat for an entire day at the hospital before being told there was no one available to perform the ultrasound, or any gynaecologist to give her a check-up.

She said she was given a card for a clinic that does ultrasounds. 

“I called the clinic. 

“They informed me it would cost R600. This was money I did not have.” She then came across an advert by a woman advertising ultrasounds and scans. 

“I contacted her and she told me she was a registered nurse, and she did not charge a lot.” She was horrified, she said, when she was told there was no heartbeat. 

The “nurse” then asked if she wanted to remove the foetus. 

“She said it was a simple procedure; she would give me tablets...” 

Several hours later, at home, she delivered the foetus, leaving it in the locked toilet as her parents were unaware of her pregnancy. After they went to bed she removed the foetus and tied it up in a plastic packet which she placed in the freezer. 

On Thursday last week she put the plastic packet into a bin bag. “My father, not aware of what had happened, left it on the road to be picked up by DSW. “However, women going through the trash opened the bag and began screaming,” she said. “A neighbour who I had confided in blurted out to the entire neighbourhood that it was me. 

“Everyone began screaming and threatening me. I quickly left to a family member’s home, but was picked up later by the police.” 

Hospital board member Pastor Mervyn Reddy said they would launch a full investigation. Aroona Chetty, director of Phoenix Child and Welfare, said there had been several cases over the past few months of newborn babies being found dead.