‘I was left with baby’, says alleged baby kidnapper

2018-01-25 15:10
Frisca Gabisile Mndaweni claims the baby’s mother left the infant with her and did not return to collect him.

Frisca Gabisile Mndaweni claims the baby’s mother left the infant with her and did not return to collect him. (Sharika Regchand)

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The heartache and rage felt by a mother whose baby was kidnapped, and by her relatives, were evident on Wednesday when the alleged kidnapper justified her actions.

She said the baby’s mother left the child — who has since died — with her and did not return.

Frisca Gabisile Mndaweni (40) was granted R500 bail in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.

The Hammarsdale woman is alleged to have kidnapped the two-week-old baby Sikhanyiso Ngcobo on December 18. According to the state, she took the baby from his mother, Bongeka Ngcobo (17), at the corner of Boshoff and Langalibalele streets.

The baby was found with Mnadweni at her home on December 28. Three days after being reunited with his mother, the child died. The cause is unknown and a post mortem report is being awaited.

Outside the courtroomon Wednesday, Ngcobo laid her head on a relative’s shoulder and wept uncontrollably. There were two men nearby who also shed tears, shaking their heads in disbelief.

A woman with them unleashed her fury by yelling at the court door, prompting the court orderly to come out and warn her to behave.

They simply could not grasp what happened in court.

Mndaweni’s attorney, Bonisiwe Gasa, told the magistrate that her client will be pleading guilty. Mndaweni said that while walking in town, a mother with a child asked her to hold the baby while she went to buy food.

The mother did not return and she waited for as long as she could. She did not know what to do with the baby and took him home.

Gasa said her client admits she should have gone to the police station.

She said Mndaweni is self-employed. She makes traditional attire and earns about R600 a month. With that money she supports her unemployed 20-year-old child, her mother and her late sister’s three children.

Gasa said Mndaweni could only afford R500 bail. She has no previous or pending cases.

Prosecutor Patty Davids said she was not opposed to bail being granted.

“She has a fixed address in Hammarsdale, is not a flight risk and is no threat to the witnesses.”

Magistrate M. Boikhutso attached conditions to her bail. Mndaweni has to report to a specific police station three times a week, has been forbidden from coming to Pietermaritzburg except for her case and was warned not to try and contact any of the state witnesses.

Afterwards, her case was referred to prosecutor Mariam Aboobaker for a plea. She told the court that she cannot do the plea without being in possession of the medical results, which will state how the baby died. The case was adjourned to February 5.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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