Crime

Warning – Graphic content: Middelburg’s killing fields

Three babies, two at full term and one missing the right leg, were found dumped in Mhluzi in six days.

Police are now on the hunt for the mothers, to bring them to book, as deterrent to others contemplating infant abandonment.

The discovery of the foetuses, last Thursday, Friday and this week Tuesday, has rattled the community to such an extent that a number of local women have already committed to the establishment of a Door of Hope project in Middelburg.

A foetus found in a CBD dumpster in 2012.
A foetus found in a CBD dumpster in 2012.

www.mobserver.co.za has reported on a number of similar cases every year.

The following timeline is a graphic account of the lengths women will go to, to sidestep the responsibility of parenthood.

• 2012 – Two foetuses were found dumped in Middelburg town, one in a dumpster in the vicinity of Rex Cafe, and the other drifting in a bucket in Athlone Dam.

• 2014 – Baby X is discovered, wrapped in newspaper, next to the railway line by a passing teenager. The baby survived and has since been adopted.

Baby X, found in 2014, survived being dumped between building rubble and rubbish heaps by her mother.
Baby X, found in 2014, survived being dumped between building rubble and rubbish heaps by her mother.

• 2016 – Three babies are found in six days. Two of them, one estimated at eight month’s gestation, and the other a full term baby, was found on the dumping site. The last one was discovered by primary school children next to a footpath used by hundreds of pedestrians each day.

The local Umephi House, is presently the only 24-hour safe haven for crisis babies, though access is strictly forbidden to the public.

This fully developed foetus was found inside a drifting bucket in Athlone Dam in 2012.
This fully developed foetus was found inside a drifting bucket in Athlone Dam in 2012.

The orphanage cares for the babies up to the age of two-years, after which they are placed back into the system.

Many however find happy homes through adoption.

Umephi House welfare worker, Ms Sumari Rootman, urge all women with unwanted pregnancies to contact her for assistance, before a crime of concealment, illegal abortion or abandonment will be considered.

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