Abducted Baragwanath hospital newborn 'sold for R2 500' - report

2019-06-10 12:02
Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (File)

Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (File)

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The mother of a newborn baby abducted from the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto on Thursday claims the infant was bought for R2 500.

According to TimesLive, Bikokuhle Hlatshwayo said she was happy that her baby was found safe and returned to her, but shocked to discover that her child already had a price tag.

"Police told me that my baby was sold for R2 500 and I cannot stop thinking, what if I never found her?" she reportedly said.

When News24 contacted him on Monday, police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said he could not comment on the mother's assertions.

Police found the newborn girl within 24 hours in Diepkloof, Soweto, following a tip-off after the health department handed over CCTV footage of the culprit, News24 reported.

Suspect in court

A 35-year-old woman, who is believed to be an accomplice involved in the abduction, is in custody and is expected to appear in the Protea Magistrate's Court on Monday, Dlamini said.

On Thursday, 24 hours after Hlatshwayo gave birth to the baby girl, a woman entered the hospital during visiting hours under the pretence that she was the newborn baby's relative, News24 reported.

"The mother had given birth through a C-section. The suspect visited the maternity ward and started playing with the baby, before telling the nurses that she wanted to take the baby outside to show family members," Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku said.

The woman, however, did not return after leaving the hospital with the baby wrapped in a blanket.

According to TimesLive, Hlatshwayo said when she woke up, a patient next to her bed told her that a woman who had claimed to be her mother-in-law came in while she was heavily sedated.

 
CCTV footage of the suspect from Chris Hani Baragw

Police are searching for this woman in connection with the abduction from the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (Supplied)

"I was heavily sedated following my Caesarean section procedure and I was resting," she recalled. Hlatshwayo reportedly said that after the news, she immediately left her bed and walked through the corridors to check for the woman who had taken the baby.

"I was surprised not to find any family member outside. I then took my phone and checked with my real mother-in-law, but she said she was only on her way. I then panicked, and cried helplessly," she reportedly said.

Security guard 'glued to cellphone'

Hlatshwayo told TimesLive she asked nurses and security personnel what they had seen, but they said they did not know anything. She was then reportedly called to view CCTV footage and then saw the unknown woman with her baby.

Hlatshwayo reportedly said the abductor walked right past a security guard who was glued to her cellphone screen.

Police are still searching for the woman who was captured in the CCTV footage leaving the hospital with the baby.

"We have also done the DNA tests on the baby to ensure that the right baby was returned to the mother, who is also receiving counselling," Masuku said.

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Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  abductions
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