Johannesburg - A heavily pregnant woman’s aunt was among four people arrested for murder after they allegedly forced her to terminate her pregnancy.
The woman, who was between seven and eight months pregnant, was allegedly kidnapped in Secunda, Mpumalanga and taken to a room in Ogies, where she was kept by the group.
Police spokesperson Colonel Mtsholi Bhembe said the victim, 20, said she was given a pill to terminate her pregnancy, but it didn’t work.
“She was given more pills to drink and eventually gave birth, but the infant was stillborn,” Bhembe said.
“The victim was apparently kidnapped by three men and the woman, who is her aunt. She was taken to Ogies, where they reportedly locked her in a room and administered the pills. They thereafter wrapped the stillborn baby in a plastic bag and dumped it on a railway line.”
He said the victim managed to unlock the door and escape. She got a lift to Secunda, where she reported the matter to the police. All four suspects were arrested. The motive for the termination is part of a police investigation.
Bhembe said Seyikabi Wilson, 46, Jingo Wassua, 35, Njombozi Katiti, 43, and Lydia Mojemba, 34, were remanded in custody by the Secunda Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
They are facing charges of kidnapping, murder and attempted murder. Their case was postponed to next week for a bail application and further investigation.
Sikhonjiwe Masilela, the Gauteng director of maternal health, said there were dangers associated with terminating a pregnancy above five months.
“If the procedure is done under unhygienic conditions and in an unsafe environment and performed by an untrained/unskilled person, there could be profuse bleeding and death, uterine rupture, and severe infection leading to infertility and septicaemia,” Masilela pointed out.
He said abortions should be performed by trained healthcare professionals, including a nurse, midwife or doctor, who had completed the prescribed training.
“The healthcare facility providing the service must be designated by the MEC for health. Termination of pregnancy can be performed up to 12 weeks by a nurse or midwife (or doctor) - on request by the woman.
“From 13 weeks to 20 weeks, it can be performed by a doctor - in consultation with the woman, and if the doctor deems the pregnancy to be a risk to the mother and foetus,” Masilela said.
He added that if termination of pregnancy was done above 20 weeks, it should be performed by a doctor in consultation with another doctor, or by a doctor and registered nurse or midwife.
For the termination to be done at this stage, the doctor must be of the “opinion that the pregnancy would endanger the life of the woman or there is gross malformation and injury to the foetus”.