Alert care worker spots stolen baby

2014-07-17 00:00

THERE were mixed emotions for the mother who was reunited with her baby girl who was snatched at Home Affairs last week.

This after social workers would not let her take her precious baby home last night.

Phumzile Dlamini (22), from Swayimane near Wartburg, was reunited with her seven-month-old baby girl, Fanele Asemahle Dlamini, in Impendle yesterday.

Fanele was snatched at the Pietermaritzburg Department of Home Affairs, which appears to have become a soft target for baby snatchers, on Tuesday, July 8.

Dlamini was filling in birth certificate forms for her baby and left her in the care of her sister, Nokwanda, but the 20-year-old suspect allegedly snatched the baby from them.

“It was the most horrible seven days of my life because I hardly slept thinking about my baby,” she said.

“Although I am happy that the baby has been found alive, I am not pleased that I don’t have permission to take her home,” she said. She said she knew the baby was hers.

Dlamini said social workers said they had to conduct tests before returning Fanele to her.

Dlamini said at least she knows that her baby is in good hands with the social workers.

“My baby was found when a care worker realised something was fishy,” she said.

Dlamini said initially they were told the baby the suspect had was 11 days old, but when the care worker saw the baby she realised the woman was lying.

“The care worker called nurses to check the baby and police were then called to arrest the woman who had stolen her,” she said.

“I am not happy with the condition she was found in because she is thin, has scratch marks on her body and is darker in complexion,” said Dlamini.

She said wanted the suspect to remain in custody with no bail.

Fanele’s granny, Buyenzeni Dlamini said, “... It is wonderful to find her alive because this was the most painful experience I have ever endured,” she said.

Home Affairs regional manager, Thamsanqa Luthuli, said they had new control measures in place to reduce baby theft there. “We have placed big notices all over our offices warning people to be vigilant with their babies,” he said.

Police said a 20-year-old woman was arrested and charged for kidnapping and will appear in court.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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