In a shocking incident which occurred in Johannesburg, South Africa, a three-month-old baby girl was eaten alive by giant rats after her mother left her at home alone to go partying. The child was devoured by rodents as she lay on a bed and angry neighbours have called for her careless mother to ‘rot in jail’.
The 26-year-old mother, who has been arrested for child neglect, returned home to discover the horrific scene in the township area of Katlehong in Johannesburg. Thankfully the girl’s twin brother, named Lucky, was spared the pain of dying a similar death, as he was taken out with the woman on the all-night drinking binge.
The infant who could not survive the horrible attack had her tongue, eyes and fingers all eaten by the giant rats.
Describing the horror scene, a neighbour said:
“The baby could only have died a painful death. The infant’s tongue, eyes and fingers had all been eaten. Besides the missing body parts, the remains of her body had bites and wounds all over that were inflicted by the sharp teeth of the rats. This woman must rot in jail. She does not deserve to be a mother.”
Noluthando Mtshali, daughter of the accused landlady, said:
“The only thing this woman likes is going out partying in the local shebeens. I just could not bring myself to go in and see what happened to this poor child.
“She has been a tenant since the beginning of the year and her twins were both in hospital last week but we do not know why they had been taken to hospital.
“Witnesses said it was not the first time she had left the twins on their own but it was the first time she had left only one child. When people were asking where the other child was, she would say it was in her sister’s care.
“She came back in the early hours of the morning with a new boyfriend and they tried to break into the shack since she had lost the key and they found the baby girl dead. They were claiming that the child was burnt.”
The woman’s landlady, Mama Sesi Mtshali, said: “We have lots of rats in the area. She leaves the children alone all night long and they cry themselves to sleep. She would not say she left the baby alone”.
The surviving twin is now in the care of his 28-year-old father and his new girlfriend. Speaking on the unfortunate incident, the father, who has not been named, said: “My ex-girlfriend gave birth to twins a boy and a girl and on Friday she took the boy and left the girl in the shack. When she came back the following morning at about 6.30am the baby girl was dead”.
In addition, his girlfriend said the mother of the twins always comes to their house drunk and locks the infants inside alone. “When Lucky came to us he looked like he had not eaten for days but he is fine now”, she said.
Captain Mega Ndobe, from Katlehong police confirmed that the mother had been arrested, and said she had apparently gone drinking.
She said: “I can confirm the little girl died after being eaten by giant rats. The mother has been arrested and is facing charges of child negligence and the case will be heard in court next year”.
It is not the first time children have been eaten by rats in South African townships. In 2011, 3-year-old, Lunathi Dwadwa, was killed and eaten in a shack outside Cape Town in 2011 as she slept on the floor beside her parents.
When her mother discovered her lifeless body, she saw that her daughter’s eyes had been gouged out. ‘She was eaten from her eyebrows to her cheeks, her other eye was hanging by a piece of flesh”, the mother said.
The same year, another infant was eaten alive in a shack in Soweto while her mum was out with friends while the month before, a 77-year-old grandmother, Nomathemba Joyi, died when giant rats chewed off her face as she slept.