A four-month-old boy had to be admitted to a hospital ward due to shortness of breath/breathing problems, as well as several fractures to his body.
Baby M’s parents will stand trial in the High Court in Pretoria later this year on charges of attempted murder, child abuse and/or willful neglect of the baby, as well as on a charge that they never registered his birth.
The indictment was served on the young mother and her partner, on whom she originally placed the blame, in the regional court in Pretoria last week.
According to this, the two as biological parents had the legal duty to look after the baby, take care of him and prevent him from being harmed.
Yet, it is alleged, in October 2020, they attempted to kill Baba M by “repeatedly assaulting” him.
From his birth on 17 June that year, until the child was rescued in October 2020, he was apparently exposed to actions that were physically, psychologically and/or emotionally damaging.
Furthermore, the court document states, Baby M was intentionally injured, neglected, the accused failed to feed him, and he did not receive medical care.
“The victim was admitted to the ward of a hospital on October 26, 2020 for shortness of breath, several broken ribs, a broken femur and numerous facial and other bodily injuries,” the allegations against the parents read.
Furthermore, the accused allegedly personally or/or collectively supported or assisted each other in the commission of the crimes.
“The state will allege that both accused assaulted the victim and actively encouraged each other to commit the act and/or failed to protect the child,” the deed reads.
It was reported earlier that the mother was 17 when she became pregnant with Baby M at the time.
Neighbors called the police in October 2020 when they suspected disorder in the couple’s Pretoria apartment, on which the 28-year-old father ran away. He was arrested three days later by members of the Unchain Our Children organization and the police.
The baby was meanwhile rushed to a hospital.
The mother claimed that the father assaulted Baba M while she was locked in a room. According to her, she was also a victim of the father’s alleged violent actions and she was afraid of him.
Although the father was later released on R1 000 bail, the bail conditions included that he may not have any contact with his (then former) partner or Baby M.
Earlier this year, however, the state decided to charge the mother, now 20 years old, with the father, after new information emerged during the investigation and summoned her to appear in court.
During such an appearance in the regional court, it came to light that the mother had meanwhile resumed her relationship with the father and had a baby again. She had also now been removed from the parents’ care.