Specialised units to tackle child killings in Western Cape

Specialised units at Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch are to collate and look at data into child deaths in the province.

A recent incident where a Mitchells Plain mother allegedly choked her newborn son to death and hid him under a mattress has triggered this decision.

The units met with Western Cape Premier Helen Zille on Wednesday to discuss the way forward.

Senior researcher at UCT's Children's Institute, Lucy Jamieson says Premier Zille believes setting up a commission of inquiry into child deaths would be a very expensive exercise that could take a long time to conclude.

She says that there is no time to waste.

What we said in the meeting on Wednesday is that we need to look at the patterns in relation to child murders...

Lucy Jamieson, senior researcher at UCT's Children's institute

The murder of a 1-day old baby on the Cape Flats is, unfortunately, part of a common pattern. Very young babies are killed by their mothers.

Lucy Jamieson, senior researcher at UCT's Children's institute

The other pattern in child murder is gang violence...

Lucy Jamieson, senior researcher at UCT's Children's institute

The two require two different responses. We would need strengthened anti-natal clinics, mental health care services for pregnant women to prevent deaths like the one in the Cape Flats and the gang violence also requires a different response.

Lucy Jamieson, senior researcher at UCT's Children's institute

To hear the rest of the interview, listen below:

A Mitchells Plain mother has been arrested after she allegedly choked her newborn son to death and hid him under a mattress.

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