Another foetus found in Freedom Way

One of the many mounds of rubbish along Freedom Way.

Another human foetus – the second in as many months – has been found dumped in Freedom Way. This time, in Phoenix.

The foetus was found near a pile of rubbish on the corner of Mars Way and Freedom Way, in Phoenix, last Thursday at about 9am, say police. They are investigating a concealment-of-birth case.

Called to the scene, officers had found “the body of a baby with all human parts”, said Milnerton police spokeswoman Captain Nopaya Madyibi. The baby was declared dead on the scene.

“The gender of the baby is not yet determined,” she said.

No arrests have been made.

In August, Milnerton police were called to a similar case where a foetus was found in a baby-formula tin in Joe Slovo – about 200 metres away from the latest incident (“Cops investigate after foetus found in Joe Slovo,” Tabletalk, August 11).

Joe Slovo resident Thandeka Ntsente said the government needed to do more to tell expectant parents about the options available to them.

“Dumping your baby should never be an option,” she said. “There are so many people struggling to have children, and that is why we have adoption agencies, baby drop-off bins and other methods. But I do feel like there isn’t enough education in our communities about this topic. It’s something we talk about when we hear of someone dumping their baby in a rubbish field, but we never talk about it regularly to raise awareness.”

Seventy-three children were abandoned by their parents in the province, from April 2019 to March 2021, according to provincial Department of Social Development spokeswoman Esther Lewis. This includes children left in the care grandparents and other alternative caregivers.

“The Department understands that often circumstances which lead to mothers abandoning their babies can be complex,” she said.

“Feedback received from the Child Death Review Panel is that dumping babies seems primarily linked to perinatal mental health challenges such as post-partum depression and psychosis, and women who have poor support systems are most at risk.”

Ms Lewis stressed the importance of seeking assistance from free clinics and child-protection organisations, such as the Afrikaanse Christelike Vroueverening.

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