The mother of a baby girl who was found partially covered by soil in the bushes in Kwadwesi Extension earlier this week has been arrested.
The 24-year-old woman, who police will only name once she has appeared in court, was arrested while trying to flee the Bay on Thursday night.
Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said they had received more than 50 telephonic tip-offs since the baby, just three days old at the time, was found naked and partially covered by soil less than 100m from the nearest shack on Tuesday afternoon.
He said police had scoured Dora Nginza Hospital records and visited the families of all those who had children at the hopsital last week.
The woman was arrested at a taxi rank in Kwadwesi at about 8.15pm on Thursday. Police believe she was skipping town.
“Due to the overwhelming response from the community, this woman knew it was only a matter of time before we caught up to her. She opted to run under the cover of darkness on Thursday night,” Beetge said.
“We received a tip-off that she was spotted at the taxi rank, with a large bag, waiting for a taxi.”
Police arrived before she could board the taxi.
“Without a doubt it is only due to the goodwill and assistance of the community that this woman was caught,” Beetge said.
The woman were still questioning the woman to establish her motives for abandoning the newborn baby.
Motherwell cluster head Major-General Dawie Rabie also extended his appreciation to those who helped police.
“We were receiving tip-offs from all over the Bay. Some people had valuable information that led to the arrest and others thought that they were doing the right thing by reporting some suspicious activity that they had noted and thought could be linked,” he said.
“Either way, we thank you for your efforts in helping us bring justice to this baby girl.”
Rabie said police had been inundated with donations of clothing for the baby.
“This is one of those times when you realise the power of how much can be accomplished by residents and police working together,” he said.
The baby has been placed in the care of social workers.
The mother is due to appear in the New Brighton Magistrate’s Court on Monday and is expected to be charged with attempted murder and child abandonment.