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6-week-old rape survivor critical

An infant girl underwent emergency surgery in Kimberley after being raped, allegedly by her uncle.

FILE: An infant girl underwent emergency surgery in Kimberley after being raped, allegedly by her uncle. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - A six-week-old baby that was allegedly raped by her uncle in Galeshewe remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital, the Northern Cape Health Department said on Thursday.

The infant had to undergo emergency surgery on Wednesday.

The baby's 24-year-old uncle has been arrested in connection with the incident and will appear in the Kimberley Magistrates Court today.

The suspect allegedly snatched the baby from her bed on Tuesday.

He was later cornered by Galeshewe community members who threatened to kill him.

The department's Vuyani Mhlauli said, "The baby was admitted to hospital yesterday morning at 2am. The six-week-old is in the paediatric ICU unit."

Meanwhile, a prayer service led by the National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has been held in the area.

Phiyega condemned the incident.

Police also say an 87-year-old woman was raped and killed in Galeshewe recently.

There has been wide condemnation for the incidents, which took place a day after the start of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.

The campaign was launched by President Jacob Zuma on Monday.

At the same time, 53 cases of rape were reported in the Western Cape since the start of the campaign, provincial police chief Arno Lamoer said on Thursday.

He says the number of rapes is sickening.

"If men don't stand up nothing will change. A two-year-old was the youngest victim in this province. I don't even want to refer to the six-week-old baby in Kimberley. This is totally unacceptable."

The campaign ends 10 December.