Baby Siyabonga's parents feared the worst

2016-10-28 19:43
Siyabonga Mlambo safely in his father's arms. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

Siyabonga Mlambo safely in his father's arms. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Johannesburg - The parents of a 14-month-old baby who was kidnapped on Tuesday say they would never wish what happened to them on their worst enemy.

The baby's nanny was subsequently arrested after police found discrepancies in her story. She is believed to be the mastermind behind the kidnapping.

"I can't describe how I felt. It was a nightmare that I can never be able to explain. I saw my child taken away from me and there was nothing I could do," Mandisa Mlambo told News24.

Mlambo's baby, Siyabonga, was kidnapped in the early hours of Wednesday morning after two men robbed her and then tied her and the nanny up.

Mlambo said she feared the worst. She said she was in shock after the kidnapping and hoped that the kidnappers would leave her child in a safe place, but as the hours passed she began to lose hope.

"You never expect something like this to happen to you."

'My own flesh and blood'

Baby Siyabonga, who was present during a press briefing, clung onto a police officer. He appeared oblivious to the series of events that led to his kidnapping and rescue.

He chuckled often and made funny faces at journalists.

Three suspects, including the nanny, were arrested in connection with the kidnapping.

"I treated her like my own flesh and blood. I just don't know why she would do this," Mlambo said of the nanny. "When the police told me she was a suspect I was really shocked," Mlambo added.

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She appeared calm as she responded to questions from journalists, often gazing at baby Siyabonga who by then had captured the attention of journalists.

Baby Siyabonga's father, Tshepo Madubong, could not contain his excitement. He was seen kissing his child and hugging family members after the press briefing.

Fourth suspect

Madubong said he first thought the kidnappers were playing a prank on him.

"I thought these people might be joking, but days passed and I knew it's serious. I thought they would kill my child," he said.

Madubong and Mlambo thanked the media, the police and the community of Protea Glen for their support.

"We really want to appreciate the assistance of the community and everybody who was involved. The feeling is so high. The family cannot wait to have him back home," he said.

The police's General Fred Kekane told journalists one of the suspects was a sangoma. He said the kidnappers had given the baby a new name.

The three suspects are expected to appear in court on charges of kidnapping and house robbery.

Kekane said police were searching for a fourth suspect.

"The team in KwaZulu-Natal is continuing to assist in tracing the fourth suspect who is on the run, but is known," he said.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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