Another baby snatched from her mother at Home Affairs office

2014-07-10 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG Department of Home Affairs appears to have become a soft target for baby snatchers, as yet another baby has been snatched there on Tuesday.

This time, a seven-month-old baby girl — Fanele Asemahle Dlamini from Swayimane near Wartburg — is missing.

The incident follows soon after baby Olwethu Madlala was kidnapped there in April. That baby was found two months later and the matter is currently in court. The alleged kidnapper, Nokulunga ­Patience Mzila, is out on bail.

Fanele’s aunt, Nokwanda Dlamini (18) said, “I had just fed the baby and we were waiting for her mother who was busy with the birth certificate paperwork.”

Nokwanda said the woman who took the infant had spent three hours with them — from 12 noon until 3 pm — when she disappeared with her niece.

“She was friendly and told us her name was Sma and that she was from Impendle. She said she was also at Home Affairs to apply for her child’s birth certificate,” she said.

Nokwanda described the woman as being in her 20s, wearing navy skinny jeans, a black jacket with pink embroidery, and with braids. She said the woman is short and fair in complexion.

“I had just fed the baby when she dropped her dummy. As I got up to pick it up, the baby disappeared with the woman,” said Nokwanda. She said they were sitting near the exit on the second floor and when they got up to look for the baby, she was already gone.

Yesterday, the heartbroken mother, Phumzile Dlamini (22), was in tears as she tried to come to terms with the fact that her baby was missing.

She said, “I had a sleepless night and I don’t know how am I going to sleep without my baby because I am worried that Fanele is starving because she only feeds on my breast milk,” she said.

Phumzile said anyone who may have information can contact her on 071 479 5495 or 076 081 9204.

The baby’s father, Mqondisi Gasa (23), was at the Pietermaritzburg (Loop Street) police station to support Phumzile while she made an affidavit and said they would give anything to the kidnapper if she returned the baby.

Gasa said he could not believe his only child had been stolen. He pleaded with the kidnapper to return his baby.

Home Affairs regional manager Thamsanqa Luthuli, said it was unfortunate that the baby was stolen and hoped that it would be found soon because they did not know what the suspect’s intentions were.

“I was busy with the health and safety officer from Pretoria who was inspecting the building at the time and I only heard about the incident around 5 pm,” said Luthuli.

He said they had placed security on all the floors at Home Affairs and if security guards were informed as soon as the baby was taken, it could have been prevented. “Our security guards would have used their radio to alert their colleagues on the ground floor,” he said.

Luthuli said it seemed that their offices had been targeted and they did not want to start making everyone who visits fill in their personal details with security because if that was implemented the service would be slower.

“We urge security guards to inform parents to be vigilant and be careful around strangers with their babies.”

Luthuli said they lock their public toilets to ensure that whoever uses them has to get the key from the security guards as they are trying to prevent baby theft.

Provincial police spokesperson, Captain Zwane said, “A case of kidnapping was opened at Pietermaritzburg SAPS for investigation and no arrests have been made.”


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.