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Woman held after foetus found buried in backyard

It's alleged the woman had an illegal abortion and hid the foetus in her best friend's yard in Athlone. Picture: Patrick Louw

It's alleged the woman had an illegal abortion and hid the foetus in her best friend's yard in Athlone. Picture: Patrick Louw

Published Sep 1, 2016

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Cape Town - A 23-year-old woman was arrested after police found a foetus buried in a neighbour’s backyard.

It’s alleged the woman had an illegal abortion and hid the foetus in her best friend’s yard in Athlone.

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The 18-week-old male foetus was discovered after police apparently received a tip-off.

The woman, who cannot be named until she appears at the Athlone Magistrate’s Court, could possibly face a charge of murder if an autopsy proves the foetus was alive when it was born.

She was nabbed on Tuesday at her home in Kewtown.

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According to a police source, she had an abortion at a “shady” clinic after being turned away at a government clinic for being too far along. Legally, abortions may be done up to 13 weeks.

She had allegedly first thrown the foetus in a bin, but then apparently changed her mind and buried it in her 18-year-old friend’s backyard about a month ago.

Sergeant Zita Norman of Athlone police confirmed the woman’s arrest: “She is facing a charge of concealment of birth. An autopsy will be conducted to see if the baby was alive and if that is the case, she will face murder charges.’’

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The young woman’s family refused to speak to the Daily Voice.

Their neighbour, Harry Strydom, 50, who is the owner of the house where the foetus was buried, says they were shocked to learn that the foetus had been buried there.

He said police arrived at his house on Tuesday, dug up a hole in his yard and found the tiny body wrapped in a bag.

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He said the woman had asked him for sand for her cat’s litter box.

“I was inside the house when she buried the baby and I didn’t know anything,” said Harry.

“She told the police she had a legal abortion which cost R3 500 and that she had the papers to show the police.’’

Anyone with information may call Detective Alwin Fortuin on 021 697 9238.

Daily Voice

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