An 11-month-old baby, who went missing at the weekend, has been found floating in a dam in the Wallacedene informal settlement, near Kraaifontein.

Little Akhimbali Mafentile was reported missing on Sunday after his mother allegedly left him alone in their Marikana home earlier that day. The mother had allegedly asked a friend to take care of the child, but when she came back the next day he was gone.

According to community member Lelethu Somtsewu, 40, the mother had gone to visit her boyfriend when she left her baby unattended.

Members of the Wallacedene community embarked on a search for little Akhimbali following his disappearance.

“Me and a group of women saw a doll-like figure on Wednesday in the water while we were searching for the baby,” Somtsewu said.

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She said that, as they inspected the figure, they realised it was little Akhimbali because of the navy onesie, with the little cartoon prints, he was wearing on the day he disappeared.

Somtsewu said, as they were searching near the dam, which is not too far from where the baby stayed, they could see his mother watching them from her house.

“She watched as we searched for her baby and said nothing.”

Somtsewu said the mother was not part of the search.

Police were later called to the scene, and the child’s mother was taken into custody.

Western Cape police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed that a 20-year-old female was expected to appear in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

She faces charges of murder and child neglect.

Traut said detectives were probing the circumstances surrounding the baby’s death.

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