Girl found 17 years after nab

2015-02-27 00:00

CAPE TOWN — A woman who allegedly stole a newborn baby girl from the arms of her mother in Groote Schuur Hospital 17 years ago will appear in court today.

The 50-year-old woman, who had raised the girl as her own, faces several charges, including abduction and fraud.

She was arrested in her home in ­Lavender Hill after DNA tests showed the girl was not hers.

Sister paper Die Burger reported the Hawks had established the girl’s identity after it was noted she and another girl at her school looked like siblings.

The teenage girl gave permission for her DNA to be tested and was taken to a place of safety on Wednesday. She is currently in the care of a social worker.

Provincial police spokesperson ­Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said the similarities in the girls’ appearance led to the Hawks investigating the alleged ­abduction of a baby girl on April 30, 1997, from Groote Schuur Hospital.

He said the girl’s pseudo mother will also face charge of lying to the girl that she was her real mother, in terms of section 32 (4) (a) and (b) of the Children’s Act.

The girl’s alleged biological parents did not want to speak to the media yesterday.

A neighbour who has seen the girl grow up from a baby said she had always been “a very happy child” and had been very much spoilt by her parents. “She got ­everything she wanted.”

The neat house where the girl was raised had flourishing pot plants and two big ­cages in which several small birds were nesting, but there was no sign of the ­occupants yesterday.

It is not sure whether the teenager will be reunited with her biological parents. She was only three days old when a young woman, who had reportedly said she was a patient, took the baby from her mother and disappeared.

The bereft couple then had three more children. Their second daughter attended the same school as her abducted sister, and it was there the resemblance was ­eventually noticed.

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