Police reunite abducted child with parents after 14 years

2012-01-26 00:00

A TEENAGE girl from Mpendle, near Pietermaritzburg, was returned to her biological parents near Butterworth this week, after she was allegedly abducted 14 years ago.

The woman who allegedly kidnapped her is now standing trial for abduction in the Centane Regional Court. She was arrested in April last year and was refused bail.

The Witness has opted not to name any of the parties involved, to protect the minor.

Left behind in Mpendle is the heartbroken family that adopted her and on Monday saw police reunite their “daughter” with her biological parents.

“The woman agreed to give me the child in front of a magistrate, saying that her new boyfriend did not want her,” the Mpendle mother told The Witness yesterday.

“She asked that when I take the birth certificate I must give the child her surname.”

The child had grown up believing the woman on trial was her biological mother, until police arrived to take a blood test last year.

On the strength of the tests she and her adoptive parents learnt that the woman they thought was her biological mother was not.

On Monday, police drove the biological parents from Butterworth to be reunited with their daughter in Pieter­maritzburg and then drove them back home.

The Mpendle mother went on to say that the girl did not even have the time to say goodbye to her friends.

“It was all done so quickly, but we hope that she will visit us.”

Yesterday, while The Witness was visiting her Mpendle family, the child phoned. “It’s her, she wants to speak to her brothers and sister, she sounds excited,” said the Mpendle mother.

But they were at school.

Later, it rang again.

“They are not home yet, sisi,” replied the adoptive mother.

She was happy the child had found her family and that “she will do her cultural rituals because I believe in customs”.

She was also pleased the child was looking forward to starting at her new school on Monday.

When The Witness called the Eastern Cape home, the girl said: “I phone my old home. My [old] brothers and sister told me how much they missed me, but I shall be visiting them.”

The Eastern Cape family said they were happy that they had finally found their child and thanked the Mpendle family for raising her.

“It will still take some time for the girl to learn to speak Xhosa,” the biological mother said.

Investigating officer Captain Sandla Dlulisa said it had been a long investigation.

“I found leads to the alleged abductor from a social worker and discovered that the child was adopted by the family in Mpendle.”

By that time the Mpendle mother knew that something might be wrong, having been informed of the arrest of the woman.

“I then asked the mother in Mpendle to allow us to take blood samples for DNA testing and she agreed, saying she had been waiting for this to happen,” said Dlulisa.

Dlulisa told the Daily Dispatch he received a court order last week to reunite the child with her biological parents.

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