A SIX-week-old baby has been raped in Kimberley.
In one of the most horrifying instances of child rape ever reported, the tiny infant, born on October 17, was yesterday fighting for her life in the Kimberley Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
The baby was brought to the hospital at about 2am yesterday morning after being raped, allegedly by her mother’s brother.
She underwent extensive emergency surgery to repair the injuries sustained during the ordeal and was admitted to the ICU.
According to a family member, the child’s 22-year-old unmarried mother had put the baby down to sleep in the bedroom of their Galeshewe home and was sitting in the lounge with the child’s grandmother watching television.
Picking up a teddy bear from the couch in the lounge, the family member said that after a short while, the mother heard the baby cry and went to check on her.
When she entered the bedroom, however, she saw that the child was missing and that the bedroom curtain had been removed.
Screaming that her child had been abducted, she ran to the house of the family member.
The frantic grandmother, meanwhile, heard the infant’s cries coming from a shack in the family’s backyard.
When she forced open the door, her 24-year-old son pushed her out of the way and ran out . . . zipping up his pants.
According to the family member she and several other neighbours heard the screams of the grandmother and rushed to the shack.
“When I got there the baby was lying naked on the bed and there was a lot of blood. She was crying.” She wrapped the naked infant in a blanket and the child was taken to hospital.
Community members apparently hunted down and caught the suspect a few blocks from the house. It is alleged that he lifted the baby out of the bedroom through the window.
Yesterday, the bedroom, which had been turned upside down, presumably by the police’s forensic experts, showed signs of the life shared by the mother and her infant child . . . a baby’s bottle and a small toy dog.
A glass pane in the window of the bedroom was broken and the window was open.
After apprehending the suspect, angry residents threatened to kill the man, but they were stopped by the grandmother who pleaded for his life.
According to her he was mentally unstable. The suspect was apparently involved in an altercation with the police a week ago and was shot twice during the incident.
He allegedly tried to stab a police officer while resisting arrest.
He was admitted to hospital after the incident but then ran away. After the rape, the suspect claimed that the blood on his T-shirt was as a result of the altercation with the police.
The mother of the baby, who was keeping vigil at her child’s hospital bed yesterday, was still too traumatised to speak to the media.
The girl is the mother’s second child . . . her first-born died two days after birth.
Spokeswoman for the Department of Health, Vuyani Mhlauli, yesterday confirmed that a six-week-old baby was admitted to the Kimberley Hospital around 2am yesterday morning, accompanied by her mother, grandmother and police.
“She was examined and taken to theatre. She is currently in the pediatric ICU in a critical but stable condition.”
The provincial head of communications at the police, Brigadier Masebueng Mochologi Maleeme, confirmed yesterday that a 24-year-old suspect had been arrested and would appear in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court today.
“The suspect is known to the family but we cannot yet confirm his relationship with the child.”