Child minder charged

2011-01-31 00:00

A young child minder charged with kidnapping her employer’s eight-month-old baby is to be referred for mental observation after a district surgeon found evidence of possible mental illness.

Gugu Nosipho Zondi (26) appeared briefly before magistrate Divesh Mootheram on Friday in connection with the kidnapping of Kwanele Ngomgoma, the child of Sibongile Dlamini, at Imbali on January 24.

Zondi was not asked to plead to the charge and state prosecutor Rene Padayachee said the state is opposing her release on bail.

She said it is believed that if released Zondi could abscond or pose a danger to witnesses and added that the local community is “outraged” by her actions. Zondi herself told the court and the district surgeon, Dr E.N. Soni, that she is not mentally ill. However, in his report Soni stated that she admitted to “auditory hallucinations”, or hearing voices.

He recommended she be sent for mental observation.

The case was postponed to February 10 for an opposed bail application and to give the state time to book a bed for Zondi at Fort Napier hospital.

The Witness’s supplement, Echo, published an article on Thursday about the missing baby that quoted the child’s mother as saying she had returned from work last Monday afternoon to find the baby and child minder missing, and all the baby’s clothes gone.

Following an intensive search the child was found and returned unharmed with the help of police at KwaMpumuza the following day.

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