A two-year-old child, identified as Nyiko was repeatedly raped and beaten to death by her teen mother’s 30-year-old boyfriend in Diepkloof, Soweto.
The 17-year-old mother of the child and her boyfriend identified as Tebogo Ramokgopa, were both apprehended on Tuesday, November 24, and are expected to appear in the Protea Magistrate Court, on Wednesday, November 25.
The tragic incident happened on November 15 while the child succumbed to injuries and was pronounced dead on November 19.
According to reports, the mother, who is heavily pregnant and her boyfriend fled after the death of the little girl at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital but were hunted down and arrested by the police.
On 16 November 2020, members of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) specialised unit were summoned by a medical practitioner from Baragwanath Hospital, alerting the police of the rape of a 2-year-old child who had been assaulted and brought in the previous night for medical attention.
An urgent forensic investigation was embarked on and all relevant forensic evidence collected for processing by the SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory.
It was only on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 that the mother of the child came to report the incident to the police. Nevertheless, this assisted prosecutors in obtaining vital information towards building a solid case in order to secure arrests.
During the preliminary investigation, police were able to establish that on Sunday November 15, 2020, the mother of the child had left her 2-year-old daughter in the care of her boyfriend for about 2 hours. On her return around 20h30, she found the boyfriend not around but instead, the boyfriend’s father was home, and the baby was asleep. The mother went to sleep not wanting to disturb the child.
According to the complainant, she woke up in the middle of the night to check on her baby only to find the child with serious injuries to her face. She rushed the child to nearby Baragwanath Hospital for medical attention. The outcome of the medical examination found that the child had been penetrated and that is when the doctor called the police.
Unfortunately, the 2-year-old succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead on Thursday November 19th, and the initial case of assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm was subsequently changed to murder.
Investigations continue pending the outcome of the forensic analysis as police worked to build a watertight case that can stand in court and see justice served.
The police believed that the deceased child may have suffered previous abuse at the hands of her step-father and this went unreported. This is the basis of the arrest of the teenage mom who in this instance, only reported the incident to the police 2 days later.
The Acting Provincial Commissioner of the police in Gauteng, Major General Patricia Rampota has welcomed the arrest and urged investigators to ensure that all bases are covered towards attaining justice for the 2-year-old child.
“The 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.” the statement reads.