The High Court in Johannesburg has found baby Daniel’s stepfather guilty of murder and child abuse, while the baby’s mother has been found guilty of child abuse and negligence.
Three-year-old baby Daniel died in June 2016 after he allegedly fell into a tub of hot water and sustained burns to 60 percent of his body. He also had a broken femur.
According to the child’s stepfather, baby Daniel fell off his bicycle as well as a tree while playing outside on different occasions. The court rejected the stepfather’s version of events.
During the course of the trial, a forensic pathologist testified that the child's injuries had been inflicted while he was still alive.
Handing down judgment on Thursday, Judge Collin Matshitse questioned baby Daniel’s mother on how she did not notice a pattern of the stepfather harming her child in her absence.
"Accused one must have been aware or should have foreseen what was happening. However, being afraid of accused number two, she became silent and her silence caused the death of her son," said Judge Matshitse.
The child’s stepfather and mother’s identities are being kept hidden to protect the woman’s three other children.
The judgment comes a week after South Africa observed 16 Days of Activism against violence of women and children. – SAnews.gov.za