Newborn spends days next to grandma’s dead body

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Tumelo Waga Dibakwane

A three-week-old baby  spent two days locked inside a house with her dead grandmother. Apparently the mother of the baby identified as Maylina Mgiba, left the child with her mother claiming that she was going to Sabie to attend a funeral. According to the neighbours, the visibly ill grandmother took care of the baby for a few days since the Mgiba did not return home as promised.

“After spending two days without seeing the old lady, we  decided to go and check if she was okay. We knocked at the door but there was no response, the only thing we heard was a baby crying uncontrollably. “Eventually we broke the door, went inside and found the body of the old woman on the floor while the baby was in bed crying,” said Tsakane Ngwenya.

Ngwenya said the baby formula that was found on the floor next to the lifeless body was already dry suggesting  the old woman might have died many hours ago. She said before the old woman died, she was seen struggling to feed the baby as she was visibly ill.

The baby was immediately taken to hospital where she was found to be in good health condition.

When trying to obtain comment from Mgiba, she  refused to talk and assaulted another woman accusing her of leaking the information to the media. She also threatened to sue the newspaper that will publish the story. A family member who didn’t want to be named told NewsHorn that Mgiba was not at the funeral, but she was in fact, visiting her friends where they were drinking beers. The baby was taken away from Mgiba and is now under the care of social workers who are investigating the matter.

When contacted for comment, Department of Social Development spokesperson Ronnie Masilela said: “It is the Department’s responsibility to make sure that all children are safe.  Social workers are dealing with this matter.”