17-year-old mother and her 30-year-old boyfriend appeared in the Protea Magistrate’s Court in Soweto on charges of rape and murder.

The suspects were arrested on Tuesday after the teenager’s two-year-old baby succumbed to injuries sustained during an alleged rape in Diepkloof, South Africa last week.

The toddler was allegedly repeatedly beaten and raped by her mother’s boyfriend

It is understood the mother failed to report the assault for several days and only did so after a medical practitioner, who had examined the child, alerted police.

The police’s Mathapelo Peters said an initial case of assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm was changed to murder.

“Police were able to establish that the mother of the deceased toddler had left her daughter in the care of her boyfriend, only to find the child had serious injuries to her face. She took the child to nearby Baragwanath Hospital for medical attention. The outcome of the medical examination found that the child had been penetrated and that is when the doctor called the police.”

Peters said the mother would also face charges for allegedly failing to report previous cases.

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