A 17-year-old mother has been arrested along with her 30-year-old boyfriend following the death of the teenager’s two-year-old child, who had allegedly been abused and raped before dying in a Soweto hospital.
This according to reports that police had been looking for the couple last week after it emerged that a toddler had died due to injuries inflicted by the mother’s boyfriend.
Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, Gauteng police spokesperson, told IOL that the preliminary investigation revealed that the mother had left the toddler in her boyfriend’s care on Sunday. When she returned two hours later, the boyfriend was missing and the child was asleep. It was only when she checked on the child in the middle of the night that she noticed her injuries.
The doctor called the police when the outcome of the medical examination revealed the child had been penetrated. The child succumbed to her injuries and was certified dead on Thursday, 19 November.
Soweto residents allege that the boyfriend repeatedly abused and raped the child before she died on Thursday last week.
Mom and boyfriend on the run
The couple were on the run after the death of the two-year-old emerged last week. Police say the teen mother and her boyfriend are set to appear in the Protea Magistrate Court today (on Wednesday) following their arrest yesterday (on Tuesday).
IOL has also reported that police believe previous abuse went unreported, which forms the basis of the mother’s arrest as it took her two days to report the incident.
Acting Provincial Commissioner of police in Gauteng, Major General Patricia Rampota, has welcomed the arrest, saying: “SAPS remains committed to upholding the rights of victims of gender based and domestic violence and femicide, and to prioritise the investigation of all cases where women, children and other vulnerable persons are victims.”