Diepsloot child goes into foster care

The child's mother was arrested and faces charges of murder and child neglect.

FILE: Angry Diepsloot residents vent their frustrations over the murder of cousins Zandile and Yonalisa Mali. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Police say a two-year-old Diepsloot toddler, whose seven-month-old brother was found dead at their mother's home earlier this week, has now been placed under the care of the Department of Social Development.

The infant was discovered by neighbour in a shack during the early hours of Sunday morning.

Police said his foot had been eaten by rats.

The mother was arrested at a tavern while drinking with a friend on Tuesday night.

She had been on the run since the discovery of her son's body over the weekend.

The 23-year-old woman and her boyfriend were arrested and appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates Court yesterday on a charge of murder.

The man, a 35-year-old Mozambican national, told the court he had nothing to do with the child's death.

Police say the Diepsloot community laid complaints against the woman in September accusing her of leaving the children alone in the house while she goes out partying.

After taking the siblings to a place of safety, the grandmother offered to take care of them.

The police's Tsekiso Mofokeng says the two-year-old has been removed from her grandmother's care because she is also being investigated for child negligence after allowing her daughter to take the baby to her house in Diepsloot on Saturday.

The pair are expected back in court on 20 November and will remain in custody until then.

Meanwhile, community members have made it clear the woman is no longer welcome in Diepsloot.

Angry residents destroyed her shack earlier this week.

Several child-related crimes have been reported in the northern Johannesburg township in recent months.

In October, the bodies of Diepsloot cousins Zandile and Yonalisa Mali were found dumped inside a communal toilet.

A day later, a newborn baby was dumped in a local stream in Diepsloot extension 6.

Also in October, a mother told police her three-year-old daughter may have been raped while in the care of her father and uncle.

In October and again early in November, Diepsloot residents took to the streets, outraged by the number of crimes there.