A mother was left stunned when her ten-year-old daughter gave birth – hours after complaining of a stomach ache at school.
Teachers at the child´s school took her to hospital where she was found to be seven months pregnant and already in late stages of labour.
The child gave birth normally and she and the baby, born two months premature, are being cared for in the hospital´s neonatal unit, according to reports.
The girl and her family, from Pretoria (Tshwane), in the Gauteng Province of South Africa, claim they had no idea she was pregnant.
Following the birth last Tuesday, she revealed to her mother that she had been abused by her stepfather, who has since left the home.
The mother later reported the abuse to police, who arrested the ex-stepfather, aged 40, who reportedly confessed the crime.
According to police, the girl´s mother said that her daughter started to struggle at school and become more introverted from October last year.
Police chief Captain Eric Nkuna from the South African Police Servie, said that the mother hadn´t noticed her daughter´s growing belly.
He said: ‘The mother alleges that she, along with other family members, hadn´t noticed, taking into consideration the child´s small frame.’
The girl told police that her ex-stepfather would threaten to kill her mother and brother if she ever told about the abuse.
He has been charged with rape of a child and illegal possession of firearms.