The parents of the eight-month-old Warrenton baby girl whose decomposed body was exhumed from their backyard, stated that they were too poor to bury their child.
THE PARENTS of the eight-month-old Warrenton baby girl whose decomposed body was exhumed from their backyard, stated that they were too poor to bury their child.
They said the baby’s birth was not registered, she had no birth certificate, no clinic card and had no insurance.
Her decomposed body was exhumed from a shallow grave on Saturday, January 23, after a relative informed the police that the child was missing.
Police spokesperson, Captain Olebogeng Tawana, confirmed that an inquest docket has been opened after the parents were taken in for questioning.
Tawana said preliminary investigation indicated that the baby died on January 5 and that the parents buried her in a shallow grave in the backyard.
In an interview the parents indicated that they do not know what awaits them as the police told them that they will be informed about the outcome of the case and when the child will be buried.
They indicated that a social worker had visited them.
According to them the baby was healthy until three days before her death. She apparently suffured from diarrhea, which they assumed was due to her teething.
“I was using home remedies like rubbing her gums with glycerine and egg shells, but she was not getting better,” the mother said.
The father indicated that they realised that the baby was dead at around 8pm on Tuesday, January 5.
“We then spoke about it, held a short prayer, and I dug a grave. All we knew was that we had to get the body out of the house and did not think about what people would say.
“At the time we did not expect anyone to notice because it was raining and everyone seemed to mind their own business,” the father said.
They pointed out that they were shocked to see the police arrive at their home on Saturday, but did not run away and, instead, revealed the truth.
They refuted claims by the community that the child had been weak since birth.
They, however, admitted that they did not seek medical assistance from the clinic, which is located half a kilometre from their house, during and after the birth of the baby. According to them they were scared of the authorities.
The wife claimed that she did not receive medical help during her pregnancy because, according to her, she did no know that she was pregnant.
“Everything happened too fast. Before I knew it I was in labour,” she said.
She revealed that she was assisted by her husband during birth and he supported her until she and the baby became stronger.
“There was no one else available to help us, because our family members are taking care of our six-year-old daughter and two-year-old son.”
The couple have seven children, of which one already passed away three years ago.
The father said that their only income is from the child grants of the two children and from odd jobs he gets.