Distraught mother’s plea

2019-12-04 11:25
Zama Dlamini (17) lost her newborn daughter last Friday.

Zama Dlamini (17) lost her newborn daughter last Friday. (Moeketsi Mamane)

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A week ago Zama Dlamini (17) was excited to bring baby Sthando into the world, and was so in love with the child that other members of her family struggled to separate the two.

But now Sthando is missing without a trace after being taken by a young woman pretending to be from a children’s organisation, last Friday.

A shaken Zama told The Witness that she had gone in for her first check-up at East Street Clinic last Friday after giving birth on Wednesday, where she was approached by the woman, who claimed to be from a children’s organisation.

The family came forward to the media in the hope that it would spread the message.

The woman, who had been playing with other newborns before approaching Zama, told her she would be given some items to help her raise Sthando if she answered some questions at the organisation’s offices.

Zama said she then handed Sthando over to the woman to carry. That was the last time she held the child.

“We followed her to the office, then she stopped by a clothing store and said she saw a dress in the window she wanted to buy. We went inside and she gave me R50 and told me to stand in the queue for her and pay for the dress.

“I paid for the dress and when I looked for her again, she was gone.”

Zama said she notified store management and then called the police. “I tried to look for the woman in the shop but it was very busy inside.”

She and her grandmother, Phumzile Zuma, spent most of Tuesday morning with police surveying security footage in the shop and the clinic, but did not see any trace of the woman. Zama said the woman appeared confident, as if she’d done something like this before, and that she came across as being very trustworthy. She said the ordeal has left her unable to eat or sleep.

abducted baby

Have you seen Sthando Dlamini?

While speaking to The Witness on Tuesday, Zuma occasionally became tearful. “What makes it more painful is that we don’t even know where she [Sthando] is.

“Zama was so excited when the baby was born that she wouldn’t even let me hold her because she was so happy. Even if the woman can just leave the child in a safe place if she doesn’t want to get arrested. We just care about the child,” said Zuma.

Police are investigating the case. No arrests have yet been made.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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