A member of public made a gruesome discovery when the body of a newborn baby girl was found inside a dust bin on Anton Lembede Street (Smith Street) on Tuesday. The reports of such a find is startling and shocking in the wake of Child Protection Week which commenced on 27 May 2018 and will conclude on 3 June. This year’s theme is “Let us all protect children to move South Africa forward.”

ER24 Spokesman, Russel Meiring, said, “ER24 paramedics were called to the scene by the local authorities, arriving at 1:15pm. Upon arrival, paramedics found the body of the newborn lying in plastic on the sidewalk. It is understood that the body had been taken out of the dustbin by a member of the public. Paramedics assessed the newborn and found no signs of life. Unfortunately, nothing could be done for the girl and she was declared dead.”

Speaking to the Weekly Gazette, an anonymous source said, “There was a commotion after a man alerted a vendor of his find. He took the baby who was inside a packet with a small towel out of the bin. Everyone nearby was shocked to see the baby inside the packet. Police and ambulance came to the scene. It was very sad to see the baby thrown in the bin like rubbish. We still cannot forget that sight.” The details surrounding this incident are not yet known but local authorities were on the scene for further investigations. Police spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala, confirmed the incident and said a case of concealment of birth was opened at Durban Central police station and no arrest has been made at this stage.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports emerged of a woman disposing of a packet containing a baby from her car window whilst she was driving along Anton Lembede Street on Tuesday. The reports alleged that the woman threw a packet out of her window, aiming for the bin but missing. The packet instead is said to have hit the vehicle behind her. Upon inspection of the contents of the packet, the driver allegedly found a newborn baby in the bag. Emergency services responded to the scene and pronounced the baby deceased due to the injuries sustained by hitting the vehicle. The woman who apparently threw the alleged baby fled and is still at large.

National Child Protection Week is an annual calendar event to raise awareness and spotlight the rights of children. The central aim is to mobilise all sectors of society to step up and care for and protect children. Sadly, despite the Bill of Rights in the Constitution which specifically states that every child has the right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation, many children suffer extremities at the hands of those closest to them.