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HomeMedico-LegalNewborn baby to be exhumed for DNA testing over 'mistaken identity'

Newborn baby to be exhumed for DNA testing over 'mistaken identity'

The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has intervened in a case of possible mistaken identity when a newborn boy was buried after the hospital had told his parents he had died. However, a Pretoria News report says it has subsequently emerged that it could be a case of mistaken identity. The baby’s mother, only identified as ZR, obtained an urgent order that the body of a child buried on 8 May be exhumed.

The police must conduct DNA tests on the body to establish whether it is the applicant’s child. The application was sparked by a WhatsApp voice note which the baby’s mother received two days after she had buried her son.

A woman told her that the wrong baby was buried and that her son was alive and placed in an isolation ward in the hospital where he was born. The mother said soon after her son was born, the hospital told her he had died. She said the body was released “very quickly and without any protocol”. She said she was also not supplied with a “B1 form” filled in by a doctor and no death certificate was issued.

Acting Judge George Avvakoumides commented that even if the DNA results show the baby is that of the applicant, it will bring closure to her, and despite this trauma she would be able to continue with her life. “The current position is untenable, given the allegations,” he said.

He ordered that if the DNA tests showed that the baby was not the son of the applicant, the police must immediately investigate and try to locate the applicant’s child. If it emerges that an anonymous baby was buried, the police were ordered to also investigate the circumstances surrounding the death. The judge further ordered that a copy of this judgment be delivered to the NPA.

 

[link url="http://pretorianews.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/showarticle.aspx?article=9ecac7c0-4d67-4981-9767-dbdb0d5de8fc&key=G8vox8aJvvRHICkr1sTpOQ%3d%3d&issue=63252020082800000000001001"]Full Pretoria News report[/link]

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