A 17-year-old mother and her 30-year-old boyfriend are expected to appear in the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday following an incident on 15 November in which the teenager’s 2-year-old daughter was allegedly raped and assaulted in Diepkloof, Soweto.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, the child succumbed to her injuries and was certified dead on 19 November.
The couple was arrested in Diepkloof on Tuesday.
“On 16 November, members of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) specialised unit were summoned by a medical practitioner from Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, alerting police of the rape of a 2-year-old child who had been assaulted and brought in the previous night for medical attention,” Peters said.
“An urgent forensic investigation was embarked on and all relevant forensic evidence collected for processing by the SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory.”
The next day, the 17-year-old mother of the victim reported the incident to the police. This assisted police in obtaining vital information towards building a solid case in order to secure arrests, Peters said.
Previous abuse unreported
Police established that the mother had left her daughter in the care of her boyfriend for about two hours on 15 November. On her return at around 20:30, she found the toddler asleep.
She then woke up in the middle of the night to check on the child, only to find her with serious injuries to her face, Peters said. She took the child to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital for medical attention. It was found that the child had been penetrated and the doctor called the police.
“Sadly, the child succumbed to her injuries and was certified dead on 19 November; and the initial case of assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm was subsequently changed to murder,” Peters said.
She added that police have reason to believe the child may have suffered previous abuse at the hands of her stepfather, which went unreported. This is the basis for the arrest of the teenage mother who, in this instance, only reported the incident to the police two days after the alleged assault and rape.
Acting Gauteng police commissioner Major General Patricia Rampota has welcomed the arrest and urged the investigating team to ensure all bases are covered towards attaining justice for the child.