There was tension at a hospital in Vereeniging, Gauteng Province, South Africa, as a 23-month-old toddler identified as Retshidisitswe Mahlangu was brutally murdered.
The unfortunate incident happened on Friday, January 12, 2024, at the Old Vereeniging Hospital popularly known as 21.
Describing Friday's scene, the child's grandmother, Paulina Mahlangu (53) said the toddler was found with a knife still stuck in her head, and her stomach cut open.
Paulina says she was at work when the incident unfolded after her daughter, the child's mother, Nthabiseng Mahlangu, 25, left Retshidisitswe with a friend to run errands.
“Nthabiseng had left the child with her friend when she went to run errands in town. This is something she and her friend usually do; they babysit for one another,” she explained.
"She says she was surprised to see the friend in town, and when she questioned her about the whereabouts of the kids, the friend said that she left the kids behind.”
According to Paulina, Nthabiseng hurried back and found that her toddler was missing.
A search for the toddler ensued and later, her body was discovered near other vacant rooms on the Hospital premises.
“This incident has broken us as a family. My daughter’s friend knew very well that my sister was home, she could have left the child with my sister,”
"We have so many questions because up until now, no one can tell us what happened. Even if the person that did this gets caught, it will still not bring back my granddaughters’ life.”
The family says they hope justice will be served.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant, Colonel Mavela Masondo, who confirmed the tragic incident, said that a murder case docket has been launched for investigation.
He urged anyone who might have information that can help in the investigation or assist the apprehension of the suspects to come forward.