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Diepsloot mom fears for her safety

Prosecutors said Nokuthula Gumede doesn’t want to apply for bail amid safety fears.

A woman accused of leaving her baby to die alone at home in Diepsloot while allegedly out drinking has refused bail. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - A Diepsloot woman doesn't want to apply for bail because she fears she'll be attacked if she returns home, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

The woman's seven-month-old baby was found dead in the northern Johannesburg township 10 days ago.

Police said the baby's foot was eaten by rats.

Nokuthula Gumede, 23, and her boyfriend Fernando Sidanvo, 35, were arrested last week and charged with murder and child negligence.

They appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning.

Gumede refused to exercise her right to apply for bail last week.

Sidanvo told the court he wanted to go home because he had nothing to do with the baby's murder.

Prosecutor Paul du Plessis said Gumede did not have an address because her shack in Diepsloot Extension One was ransacked and demolished by angry community members.

Locals accused her of being a bad mother.

In September, Gumede was reported to police by neighbours after she allegedly left her two-year-old and then five-month-old son in the shack unsupervised.

She went out partying.

The older child was placed in the care of the Department of Social Development.

At the time of her arrest, Gumede was reportedly at a tavern in Randburg, north of Johannesburg, drinking with a friend.

She and Sidanvo were remanded in custody until their next appearance on Tuesday.

Several child-related crimes have been reported in Diepsloot in recent months.

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

A day later, a newborn baby was dumped in a local stream in Diepsloot Extension Six.

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