Police looking for 4th suspect in connection with baby's kidnapping

2016-10-28 17:53
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 - Police are searching for a fourth suspect linked to the kidnapping of a baby from Protea Glen in Soweto on Tuesday, General Fred Kekane said.

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

Police arrested three suspects in connection with the kidnapping of the baby, one a sangoma and another, the child's nanny.

Kekane said 14-month-old Siyabonga Mlambo was found unharmed in Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal. 

He said police dedicated hours to investigating the kidnapping.

"On Wednesday we spent the whole day with forensic experts. At the end of the day yesterday night, while the team was interviewing the nanny they received a call that the child might be recovered in Newcastle."

Kekane said the mother, Mandisa, travelled with police to retrieve the child. 

Police arrested a 22-year-old male sangoma, a 25-year-old man and the nanny - who they think is the mastermind behind the kidnapping. 

Forced inside house

The baby was taken on Tuesday night during a robbery. The mother and nanny were left tied up by the kidnappers.

It's alleged that Mlambo came home from work at about 20:30 on Tuesday night when she noticed two suspicious men outside her house.

She called the nanny for her to quickly open the door but the two suspects managed to grab her and force her inside the house where they demanded money from her and the nanny, police said.

After taking the money, the suspects forced Mlambo into her car and went to Protea Glen shopping mall where she was told to withdraw money from an ATM.

The suspects went back to the Mlambo's house and took off with her baby, cellphones, clothes and other household items.

After having been tied up with a rope the two women managed to free themselves at around 05:30, Kekane said.  

However, police said after investigating they found discrepancies in the nanny's story.

"We could see something is not clear with the nanny. After further investigation instruction was given to detain the nanny," he added. 

Media crucial in investigation

In a shocking twist to the story, Kekane said the nanny is related to both suspects. The nanny is also Mlambo's cousin, police revealed. 

Kekane added that the suspects had also given Siyabonga a new name. 

He thanked the media for assisting police with the investigation. 

"We want to thank the media for playing a crucial role in the investigation," Kekane said.

He told journalists that police suspect that the kidnappers' motive was extortion. 

The three suspects have been charged with kidnapping and housebreaking.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  kidnappings

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