A 30-year-old woman thrashed her newborn baby to death after giving birth in a public bathroom. She was arrested Monday.

On the day of the incident, the woman arrived at a clinic in Malamulele, a town in South Africa, with her mother complaining that her stomach was "growing big."

"The suspect reportedly arrived at Kunjani Clinic at about 08:00, accompanied by her mother. It is alleged she went to the clinic to consult and find out why her tummy was growing big (sic). This after she was allegedly denying she was expecting," police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said, News24 reported.

While waiting for a consultation at the clinic, she told her mother that she wanted to go to the bathroom and went to an adjacent mall. It was later found that the woman, who was not identified, gave birth to a baby girl inside the mall's bathroom. She then brutally thrashed the newborn baby.

"The suspect reportedly gave birth to a baby girl on her own and started brutally assaulting her. The baby's cries alerted the cleaners, who immediately rushed to the bathroom and discovered the gruesome incident," Mojapelo said.

"The police were notified and rushed to the scene. Both the suspect and her badly injured baby were taken to the local hospital, but the latter was transferred to Mankweng Hospital, where she lost her life," he added.

The woman was arrested and charged with murder after she was discharged from the hospital. Police did not reveal the motive behind the killing. It was also not clear how the woman was unaware of her pregnancy.

Neil Shikwambana, a spokesperson for the hospital, told South Africa's public broadcaster SABC that the woman will undergo a mental evaluation.

"The Health MEC (Medical Ethical Committee), Dr. Phophi Ramathuba has expressed sadness and also outrage at this incident and she has called on community members to remember that there are other legal options that they can follow instead of killing or throwing away their children. They can enquire about the termination of pregnancy at all our facilities they will be referred accordingly or give the baby away for adoption," Shikwambana said.

newborn-1399155_640 Representational image Photo: pixabay