Father denied permission to exhume baby’s body

Gofaone Koogotsitse

A 35-year-old man from Kanye, whose two-month-old baby’s death raised suspicions, was denied permission to exhume the baby’s body.

Last Wednesday, the father filed a complaint at the Goodhope police station, which redirected him to seek assistance at the District Commissioner’s office.

Allegedly, the father had been living with his 21-year-old girlfriend and their baby girl in Kanye.

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However, last month, the girlfriend and the baby returned to Tswaaneng.

On February 18th, 2024, the baby fell sick and was taken to a clinic the next day for treatment.

She was discharged but scheduled for a follow-up on February 21st, 2024.

Unfortunately, she passed away the following day after the check-up.

The mother decided to keep the matter private and only informed her parents, who advised burying the baby on February 23rd, 2024, without informing the father.

This lack of communication led the father to become suspicious and prompted him to inquire about the cause of death, suspecting foul play.

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The frustrated father reported the matter to the police with the intention of exhuming the baby’s body.

However, Goodhope District Commissioner, Rapetse Mathumo, explained that they must consider legal regulations, the deceased’s age, and the reasons for exhumation.

“It is a delicate issue involving a young child. The law allows exhumation after two years, typically for cases where a body was immediately buried in a decomposed state and later needs to be relocated,” Mathumo clarified.

He added that the reasons provided by the family, including suspicions of the child’s death from hunger due to the mother’s absence, did not meet the criteria for exhumation.

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