File picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - A 36-year-old man has been sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for the murder of his girlfriend's 18-month-old baby who died in hospital after being brutally beaten.

Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said that on 9 September 2018, police were alerted by Worcester Hospital of an 18-month-old baby boy who had reportedly fallen from a bed at home and was declared brain dead.

Investigating officers, Sergeant Revah Readien and Constable Johan Saayman, visited Worcester Hospital where a preliminary investigation revealed that the baby had visible head injuries and was subsequently declared dead.

The matter was further investigated due to suspicions that the child may have been murdered. 

"It was later found that the baby’s skull was cracked, his ribs were broken and he had bruises all over his face and body."

Van Wyk said that the investigating officers were able to build a strong case against the perpetrator.

"Three days after the incident was reported, a 36 year old suspect, Reginald Bezuidenhoud was arrested," he said. "It was further discovered that Reginald was in a relationship with the mother of the deceased."

The case was later transferred to the Western Cape High Court where on June 28 Bezuidenhoud was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend’s child.

High Court Judge Andre Le Grange sentenced Bezuidenhoud to 25 years imprisonment.

Acting Western Cape Provincial Commissioner, Major General M Manci praised the investigating officers for their dedication and commitment in apprehending a dangerous criminal and to remove him from the community. 

He said the sentencing is an indication of the high priority placed by SAPS on investigations into priority crimes, such as crimes against women and children.  

Judge Le Grange commended the investigating officers for the sterling work they did in assisting the criminal justice system during their investigation. 

He mentioned that if it wasn't for the two detectives to act speedily in this matter, this case would have been on the statistics of unsolved murders.

African News Agency