Kimberley - A newborn baby that was found inside a plastic shopping packet, abandoned on a street corner in Galeshewe, has been named “Siphosethu”, an Xhosa name that translates as “Our Gift”, by good Samaritans, while police continue to try and track the mother of the little girl.
While the Galeshewe Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit is investigating a case of child abandonment following the shocking discovery on Friday morning, Siphosethu is currently in a stable condition in hospital, after the sound of crying, coming from a shopping bag in Montlahla Street, Galeshewe, alerted passers-by to her presence.
A member of crime-fighting group Wanya Tsotsi, Vusi Modisane, said he was on his way to work early on Friday morning when he noticed a group of people on the corner of Montlahla Street.
“I was at the corner when four people drew my attention to the bag and told me that they had heard crying,” he said. “I immediately alerted the relevant people to make sure that the child was taken care of.
“I didn’t want to inspect the contents of the bag too closely, so I can’t tell if the child had just been born, but it was very young and alive.”
The baby was transported to the Kimberley Hospital and admitted to the neonatal high care unit.
A video of the baby crying relentlessly inside the plastic bag, which was tied closed, was circulated on social media.
As news of the abandoned child spread, donations of nappies and clothes were collected. The first of which was handed over at the hospital on Friday by members of #RiseAbafaziMovement and Wanya Tsotsi.
On Sunday, Mpho Assegaai, from #RiseAbafaziMovement, said that public generosity continued and that the community groups were calling the child “Siphosethu” among themselves.
“The name means ‘Our Gift’ and was coined by Brija Peters, from Wanya Tsotsi,” Assegaai explained.
“On Friday morning we received a call from Wanya Tsotsi about a newborn baby that was apparently dumped and found alive in Galeshewe. They asked us to assist with baby clothes, nappies and other essentials as she had nothing.
“We have received quite a bit of stuff so far from the community with quite a few people telling us to collect more items from them in the new week.
“We are hoping to see Siphosethu on Monday.”
Police spokesperson, Captain Bashobile Kale, said that the police received a call on Friday from members of the community who had found a newborn baby girl dumped in a drainage system.
“The baby was wrapped in a plastic bag,” he said. “She was alive and declared healthy by the on-duty doctor at the Kimberley Hospital.
“The Galeshewe Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) requests the public to assist with information about the mother of the abandoned baby,” said Kale. “A case of child abandonment is being investigated.”
“Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the mother is requested to contact Warrant Officer Monnapula Khatwane at Galeshewe FCS on the following numbers: 083 263 0750 or 053 807 6160.
“The police investigation continues.”
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