A seven-month-old baby boy has been murdered in the Eastern Cape.
The incident happened in the early hours of Saturday morning, when a 25-year-old man had a drunken argument with his relatives, including a woman believed to be the toddler’s mother.
The suspect, who has been arrested, bludgeoned the child to death at Thabo Mbeki township, outside Flagstaff.
The child’s disabled grandmother was stabbed more than 20 times in the same brutal attack. She is recovering in hospital.
Police spokesperson Capt Nozuko Handile said: “Police are investigating a case of murder after the infant was allegedly killed by the 25-year-old suspect. The incident happened at about 2am Saturday. The circumstances are being investigated,” she said.
The suspect is set to appear in the Flagstaff Magistrate’s Court on Monday to face a charge of murder. “An attempted murder charge would be added … if it is suspected that he’s one who stabbed the woman,” said Handile.
The local community on Monday protested outside the court. One of those who joined the protest was Zoleka Capa, an MP and chair of parliament’s portfolio committee on social development. Capa, who is from the area, spoke to TimesLIVE about what happened.
“It is alleged that the suspect was from Mthatha and visited his relatives in the township. He dropped his bag and went to Flagstaff town, where he ended up having some drinks,” said Capa.
It is alleged that the man returned home and started to argue with his relatives. Capa said when a woman left the home to go to a night vigil in another village, the suspect allegedly started to attack the remaining family members.
“About midnight, he allegedly started stabbing them. A few managed to escape through the window, but a disabled person could not escape. The person was stabbed many times and she’s in hospital, lucky to be alive,” she said.
The man then allegedly grabbed the seven-month-old baby and ran after those who had escaped. “What I gathered when I was investigating this is that the suspect used the baby’s body and head to push open a door of a house … That’s when the baby died,” said Capa.
The child’s uncle, Zandise Sithole, said the family was still in shock. “We really can’t express how saddened we are by this gruesome murder of my nephew. The suspect started by beating people using a broom stick and then started stabbing them,” he said.
“We don’t know why he would not leave the innocent child out of this – but he killed him.”
Petros Majola, director of the Khula Community Development Project, said this was a tragic incident that had left the entire Eastern Cape province traumatised.
“That child was defenceless and could not fight for himself. The child had no idea what the fight was about, but the suspect allegedly used him to fight his battle with his relatives,” said Majola.
BY BONGANI FUZILE-TimesLIVE
Source: TMG Digital