Infant beaten to death, mother charged with murder


The commemoration of Child Protection Week starts on a sad note after a 42-year-old mother from Vhembe was arrested for the murder of her 11-month-old son.

The safety of children is once again in the spotlight after a mother from Halambani Tswinganani village outside Thohoyandou allegedly beat her infant son to death.

According to reports the 42-year-old mother on Sunday, 31 May took her 11-month-old son into the house, locked the door and beat him. “Residents who heard the frantic cries of the baby rushed to the house to investigate. They broke down the locked door and rescued the badly beaten infant from the mother and rushed him to the local clinic,” Police Spokesperson, Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said.

The baby was declared dead on arrival, he added.

The mother was arrested and faces a charge of murder. Mojapelo says the motive behind the incident is not yet clear and investigation into the incident continue.

Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt Genl Thembi Hadebe has strongly condemned the incident and called on the community to give the police time and space to investigate the incident.

“Residents are strongly cautioned against engaging in any violent protests or mob justice acts,” she concluded.

The MEC for Social Development Nkakareng Rakgoale has urged parents who have children-related problems to approach social workers for help instead of resorting to violence.

This incident comes as the nation celebrates Child Protection Week, a time when the government raises awareness of the rights of children as articulated in the Constitution.

“As parents we are supposed to show love and appreciation to children, our gifts from God.”

She urged residents to redouble efforts when it comes to protecting and caring for children. “The law demands that we look after our children. Child abuse must just come to an end,” Rakgoale added.

The department has sent a team of social workers to the village to provide psycho-social support to the family of the deceased, she concluded.

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