This paper is an exploration of issues concerning illegitimacy and its link to infanticide. At the turn of the twentieth century high infant mortality rates in certain part of Europe and Britain and its dominions was a considerable concern for the ruling governments at the time. In South Africa, this was further compounded by anxieties over baby-farming scandals. By 1908, when the Transvaal government had just published the report of an Indigency Commission which delved into the distresses of the poor white problem of that colony, and a society for the protection of infants was gaining momentum in Natal, two noteworthy cases of infanticide were
tried before the Durban courts. The first involving the Laytons, which garnered great public support and another concerning the death of a child by Bertha Clarisse.