Accused baby kidnapper expected in court

2015-03-06 05:38
The girl just after she was born. (Netwerk24)

The girl just after she was born. (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - A woman who allegedly stole a newborn baby at Groote Schuur Hospital almost 18 years ago is expected to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Friday.

The accused, a 50-year-old woman of Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats, appeared last week a day after being arrested on 26 February.

She is charged with kidnapping a baby, who at this point cannot be named as she is still a minor, on 30 April 1997 at the hospital.

'I knew immediately'

Lieutenant Colonel Mike Barkhuizen, the investigating officer in the case, said on Thursday that the first time he laid eyes on the girl at the centre of the 17-year-long kidnapping saga, he knew she was the baby kidnapped in 1997.

Barkhuizen, who works for the Hawks, had been searching for the girl, now 17, for the past five years, Netwerk24 reported.

The results of the DNA tests were just a formality to him, he said. He knew instantly it was her after meeting her on the afternoon of 24 February.

"I was very happy for the parents that their child had been found."


The teenager was found after her biological parents' second daughter, born four years after her disappearance, started grade 8 at a school in Cape Town this year.

Classmates kept telling her a girl in matric looked just like her.

The two girls became friends and eventually the younger girl's father pretended he wanted to meet his daughter's new friend.

The likeness was remarkable and he approached the police. The older girl's parents could not show them any record of her birth.

They got permission to take DNA, and confirmed her identity.

For legal reasons the kidnap victim in this case may not be identified. No pictures, including any of the accused or family, may be used as they may identify the victim.

Read more on:    cape town  |  abductions

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