Father’s dreams come true as stolen baby is found

2014-06-03 00:00

SOMETIMES, dreams do come true.

Yesterday in a coincidence that seems nothing less than incredible, the baby boy who was abducted at Home Affairs in Pietermaritzburg on April 14 and the woman who allegedly took him were spotted by his mother at the Edendale Mall.

This set in motion a chain of more coincidental events that reunited mother and baby.

And in another amazing turn of events, Olwethu’s overjoyed dad Sphiwe Mphemba (33), said he dreamt on three consecutive nights that his baby would be found.

Olwethu was finally found by police in the care of the suspect in the Nhlazatshe area near Edendale.

The baby was snatched from his mother Nonhlanhla Madlala (25) by a woman at Home Affairs seven weeks ago when a she offered to help the mother while she was filling in forms to apply for her baby’s birth certificate.

An overjoyed Madlala yesterday told The Witness: “I was inside the Edendale Mall when I saw a woman holding a baby and realised she was the same woman who had stolen my boy.”

Madlala said the woman had unthinkingly greeted her and then, perhaps realising who she was, gave her the slip. She said she wanted to see the child but the woman hid the baby she carried from her.

“She then slipped inside a store and I couldn’t find her and asked around. It was sheer luck that people who worked in another shop knew the suspect because she had worked there before,” she said.

Madlala said she was then shown photos of her child by the suspect’s friend there and told that she had never been pregnant and people did not know where she got the child from.

“I phoned the police and we went together to where we were told the woman lives and I could not believe it when we found my child,” said Madlala.

She said they will now sleep peacefully because since Olwethu’s disappearance she had been unable to forgive herself.

“I am never going to forget this day,” said Madlala.

Excited father Mphemba — holding his baby in his arms — said, “My dreams always come true, I even told my girlfriend that I used to work for a firm and I had a dream that it was going to close down; when it did, I realised my dreams are never wrong.”

He said, in another coincidence, Madlala had gone to Edendale Mall on Saturday to pay his accounts for him but decided to go back home because the queues were too long.

“So I phoned her today to remind her to go to Edendale Mall to make this particular payment because I did not want to be in arrears.

“Little did I know that this would be when she would spot the woman who had stolen our baby,” he said.

Mphemba said they needed to take the child for a medical check but he looked to be in good health. “We know that the suspect’s boyfriend was taking care of the baby and when she went to the mall she had been there to buy baby food,” he said.

Mphemba said people did not often get second chances and they were going to do all they could to protect their baby.

He said he had begun to hate the city while his baby was missing.

The placid Olwethu lay in his mother’s arms, unaware of the all of the fuss.

Plessislaer police spokesperson Captain Musa Ntombela said a 25-year-old woman was arrested after police were tipped off.

He said she was kept in custody and would appear in court today facing charges of kidnapping and theft of a baby.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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