The mother, Fortune Rankhododo, who was arrested on Thursday, April 25. Photo supplied.

Mother arrested after body of newborn is found in pit toilet


A 30-year-old woman, Fortune Rankhododo, was arrested last Thursday (April 25) in Tshikuwi village, Nzhelele, for allegedly discarding her newborn baby in a pit toilet.

The spokesperson for the police in Vhembe, W/O Vuledzani Dathi, said the police were called by the husband of the suspect. He apparently found the body of the newborn baby in the pit toilet next to their house in Tshikuwi village.

“Upon the police’s arrival, they retrieved the tiny body of a child from the toilet, and a thorough interview with the suspect commenced. The suspect later confessed to knowledge of the said incident, and she was arrested,” Dathi added.

The suspect appeared in the Dzanani Magistrate's Court on Monday, and her case was postponed to Monday, May 6. She remains in custody.

A trusted, anonymous source said the suspect had sent a message on a community WhatsApp group, alerting the community members that she had heard a baby cry in her toilet while she was going to relieve herself.

“She went on to say she doesn't know why someone would come and throw their baby in her toilet. As a community, we were shocked, and we believed her until we started putting one and two together, and it all started pointing to her. Days before the incident, she was complaining that she had piles and was having problems going to the toilet. We also noticed that she always had a towel wrapped around her belly,” she said. The lady did a good job of hiding her pregnancy.

Some of the residents of Tshikuwi village described Rankhododo as a church-loving lady who was very devoted to her husband. “She was staying with her husband at the husband’s sister’s house. We are still shocked. We didn't expect this from her because she is very active in community activities,” the source said.



Date:03 May 2024

By: Maanda Bele

Maanda  Bele, born and raised in Nzhelele Siloam, studied journalism at the Tshwane University of Technology.

He is passionate about current news and international affairs.

He worked as part of the Zoutnet team as an intern in 2017.

He is currently a freelance journalist specialising in news from the Vhembe district.

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