Baby snatcher gets no jail time

2008-10-12 00:00

A 21-year-old Edendale woman who pleaded guilty to kidnapping her neighbour’s one-week-old baby daughter last month has been given a wholly suspended sentence by a Pietermaritzburg Regional Court magistrate.

Slindile Makhoba was arrested in Vosloorus, Gauteng, last month, and the missing baby girl, Asihle Maduna, was reunited with her mother.

Makhoba pleaded guilty on Friday to a charge that she kidnapped the baby on September 3.

She told the court that while she was visiting the Maduna family to see the newborn baby, the baby’s mother, Busisiwe Maduna, had left her alone in the room.

Makhoba said she decided to steal the baby in the travelling bag that she had with her, and managed to leave the house without anyone suspecting or noticing that she had the baby in the bag.

The court record did not reflect her motive for the act.

Magistrate Paul Ableman said that because she had no previous convictions, had shown remorse by pleading guilty and appeared to be a good candidate for rehabilitation, he believed an appropriate sentence to be one of three years’ imprisonment suspended for three years on condition that she is not convicted of kidnapping during the period of suspension.

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