The infant was allegedly raped by a family member in the early hours of Wednesday morning in Galeshewe, Northern Cape. The suspect was arrested and is expected to appear in court on Thursday.
Department of Health spokeswoman, Lulu Mxekezo said the infant was in very bad shape but that she was currently in a critical but stable condition.
“We can only hope that she will make it,” said Mxekezo.
The infant is currently in a paediatric ICU unit in a Kimberley hospital and has been in theatre for emergency surgeries that included reconstructive surgery.
Lynne Carwood, director of Childline Gauteng said in case like these the wounds are often irreparable.
“The emotional and physical damage that has been done to this infant is probably irreparable,” said Carwood.
“This is horriyfing and unthinkable, we are calling for the harshest possible sentence to be handed down onto the suspect if found guilty,” she added.
The Democratic Alliance has joined this call as it also condemned the rape of the infant. DA Northern Cape Provincial Chairperson Harold McGluwa said they commended the public on their role in capturing the suspect and handing him over to the authorities.
McGluwa said that this was an utterly disgusting and disturbing incident.
According to the 2012/2013 the national crime statistics released this year by the police, rape, which makes up about 75 percent of sexual offences, has decreased marginally by 0.4 percent. However there is no breakdown given to distinguish between age and gender of victims.
Carwood said that it is a problem that they do not provide a breakdown of rape statistics.
“Without the breakdown of rape data we will not be able to access the issue of child rape in South Africa,” said Carwood.
According to Statistics South Africa’s latest report ‘Victims of Crime survey,’ 44.1 percent of victims of sexual assault were attacked by people known to them, while 17 percent of the time the attack comes from a relative.
The report also found that the majority of sexual assaults take place in fields and on the streets.