Baby Samantha's father caught

Adriaan Netto was found in Krugersdorp after being on the run for five days.

FILE: Blue police lights. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - Baby Samantha's father has been caught after being on the run for five days.

Adriaan Netto and his partner are accused of raping and murdering their 10-month-old baby who died in March last year after she was allegedly subjected to long-term abuse.

He allegedly skipped bail last Thursday, the day judgment was scheduled to be handed down in the case.

Netto was apparently found hiding in a bushy area in Krugersdorp on Monday afternoon.

When news of his disappearance emerged, baby Samantha's 34-year-old mother told authorities her partner packed his bags, stole their transport money and fled less than three hours before they were due to hear the judgment.

Judge Majake Mabesele said he wasn't surprised by news that the man had absconded and issued a warrant for his arrest.

Autopsy reports have shown Samantha was significantly underweight and suffered a variety of injuries including fractured ribs, a lung filled with blood and scratches on her private parts.

But her parents say they never spotted these injuries on their daughter and have pleaded not guilty to all charges against them.

Netto is due to appear in court tomorrow.

The couple have two other children who are in the care of family members.