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Cape Town - Government has expressed outrage by the sexual abuse of a nine-month-old baby and has called on law enforcement agencies to take strong and swift action against those responsible.

“It’s appalling that we see a prevalence of gruesome inhumane acts against our children. As we prepare to close National Child Protection Week, society needs to realise the harm that adults are inflicting on children and resolve to break the cycle of abuse and neglect," said the GCIS Acting Director-General Phumla Williams.

The infant's aunt said she discovered the injuries to the baby’s genitals after the mother had left her in her father’s care on April 29.

"She left the baby with me with not a stitch of clothing or any nappies. She just gave the clinic card and then left,” the father told the Cape Times.

Read: #ChildProtectionWeek: Sex attack on infant of nine months - mom sought

He then called on his sister to help him take care of the child, who later noticed something was 'wrong' with the infant's genital areas. They immediately reported the matter to the police

At Cape Town Central police station, it was recorded that the infant had old, healed bruises on her genitals.

“I was very angry and did not know what to think. I have questions daily about where the mother had left my daughter,” he said.

Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said the matter is under investigation at the Cape Town Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit.

“A criminal case docket will be registered and transferred to Delft police. Old, healed bruises (of more than a month) were recorded on the victim. It is suspected that the child was neglected while in the care of the mother. We are in the process of tracing the mother,” Van Wyk said.

"Families, neighbours and communities have vital roles to play. Let us as a nation not be rendered defeated in protecting the children of South Africa," said Williams.