UPDATE - Dept. places children in safe care and will monitor neonaticide case
The Ministry attended the first appearance of the 32 year-old Mitchells Plain woman, Dalene Petersen, in the Mitchells Plain Magistrates Court. She was arrested over the weekend, and faces a charge of murder.
Petersen is at the centre of a neonaticide (baby murder within 28 days of life) case, after being accused of having choked her newborn son to death mere hours after his birth, hiding his body under a mattress.
The court has remanded Petersen in custody, and she will next appear in court for a bail application of the 26 September 2017. The Department will monitor this case.
We condemn this murder in the strongest terms possible, and will support our child protection partners, the South African Police Services (SAPS), who are investigating the case.
As the custodians of the Children’s Act of 2005, social workers from our Mitchells Plain local office have intervened to protect the other four children the woman has.
The children have been placed in alternative care of a relative and counselling assistance is being rendered to the children.
We continue to appeal to expectant mothers and fathers, and parents of newborn children, to approach our social workers for assistance and family planning interventions. This service is available to anyone who may be experiencing emotional or physical difficulty in raising their child.
Spokesperson for Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development
Western Cape Government
7th floor, 14 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8000
Tel : (021) 483 9217
Cell : 076 083 6543
Email : Sihle.Ngobese@westerncape.gov.za