Day-Old Baby Found Dumped in Chatsworth


A one-day-old baby was dumped and left for dead on a rubbish pile in Chatsworth, south of Durban, on Tuesday.

Shawn Herbst of Netcare 911 said they had received a call from Metro police about a baby which had been found on a pile of rubbish on the roadside in Burlington Heights, Chatsworth.

The baby was reported to be alive, but was covered in ants, with severe dehydration and was battling to breathe. According to an emergency care practitioner, the baby still had the placenta attached.

Herbst said the baby was now in a stable condition and had been transported to RK Khan Hospital for medical attention.  

A 2018 study conducted by the Medical Research Council and corroborated by child protection activist and change management consultant, Dee Blackie, revealed that about 3500 children survive abandonment in SA every year.

The research found that 65% of abandoned children are newborns, and 90% are under the age of 1. Researchers found that a child born in SA is at the highest risk of being killed during its first 6 days of life.

Child abandonment in SA is illegal, the South African government has also not passed the Safe Haven Law, making baby boxes (although used widely across the country) illegal too. According to South African Law, any form of anonymous abandonment of children is a crime. With no Safe Haven Laws, even if a baby is left in a safe place such as a hospital, police station or a baby box, mothers can be arrested.