Durban - Police armed with an arrest warrant are searching for a KwaZulu-Natal doctor who allegedly abducted her two young daughters five months ago.
They have also released a photograph of Dr Thuthukile Nokuphila Immaculate Goba, 37, but have not named the daughters, aged seven and five, and have appealed for help in locating them.
This is the second time Goba has allegedly taken her daughters. She was imprisoned last year for contempt of court for denying her ex-husband access to their girls.
“They were missing for two-and-a-half months last year,” their father said last week.
“She is getting better at this and it is now five months since she took the girls.”
The girls’ parents were involved in a bitter divorce and custody battle in 2008 and after the doctor removed them from their Highway area school on February 22, their father successfully got a High Court order giving him sole custody. The court also ordered the doctor to return the children.
Their father said in an interview that his ex-wife’s own lawyers (who no longer represent her) had advised her to comply with the court order or run the risk of being arrested again.
Now the police have put out a press release saying the doctor allegedly visited her children at school for a week in February “in order to win their trust and confidence with various promises”.
SAPS spokesman, Colonel Vincent Mdunge, said their father said he “has not seen nor heard from them since”.
As their father mounted a nationwide search and lobbied whoever he thought could help him, the school head wrote a letter supporting him, saying she and other teachers believed the girls were in “physical and emotional danger”.
The principal believed that their mother was so distressed about her situation and relationship with her ex-husband that she had ceased to care for or about her daughters and would go to any lengths to punish him.
Mdunge said it was believed the doctor was in Braamfontein in Gauteng earlier this year, but it was now understood she had returned to Durban.
The girls’ father says he will not rest until the girls, “the real victims in all this”, are returned to him.
He has lobbied the police commissioner, the minister of police, the police portfolio committee, crime intelligence officers and last week went on a national radio station to highlight the situation.
But he is angry it has taken the police five months to appeal for help.
“I have a court order saying the children had to be returned to me and the police are only reacting now.
“This is justice delayed. Does it mean that justice only happens swiftly for women whose husbands have kidnapped children?”
He said his search had been “a long lonely path”.
He claimed that some police officers had even frustrated his attempts to find his children, siding with their mother:
“One very senior officer at national level told me a mother would never kidnap her children after carrying them for nine months.”
He pointed out that his former wife had not been acting alone and would have had help from family or friends in hiding the children.
“I know they have not been to school.
“They have only had one month’s schooling this year,” he said.
Mdunge said Goba was of medium build, dark in complexion and was last seen wearing her hair in dreadlocks.
Detective Warrant Officer Thokozani Dlamini of the Pinetown Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit is appealing to anyone who can help to contact him at 031 325 5018. - Daily News
All information will be treated in the strictest confidence and if informants want to remain anonymous, they can contact Crime Stop at 08600 1011.