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'Hospital offered us R2m to drop missing baby case'

Crime & Courts
Pretoria - Hebron couple Veliswa Sondamase and Sibusiso Mndaweni live in confusion and anguish and questions about what became of their baby boy. 

The child went missing soon after his birth at the George Mukhari hospital on December 29, 2008. He was never found.

Sondamase gave birth to the boy two days after being rushed from a local clinic after suffering pre-eclampsia complications.

Unfortunately, the family was never afforded the opportunity to see their newborn child and was allegedly told by staff he was too sick.

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Sibusiso Mndaweni with father Selby. He is still looking for answers nine years after his baby boy disappeared at the George Mukhari Hospital.
Picture: Jacques Naude

“When I asked the hospital where my child was, they simply told me he was with a Maria Mnisi. I told them repeatedly my family does not know of any such person,” Sondamase’s partner Mndaweni said.

That fateful day would forever be etched in his mind as the day he lost not only his son, but which also left his wife traumatised, he said.

“When I insisted that I still wanted my child they offered me R2 million to let go of the matter, but I refused.,” said Mndaweni.

The family enlisted the services of attorney Lawrence Kekana, who they now accuse of abandoning them after interacting with the Department of Health. He nonetheless gave them R54 000 to pay off their house.

Mndaweni said they were told of a R6m settlement offer from the department, made just before Kekana stopped working with them.

“He wrote to the Law Society saying that we were not his clients and even referred us to the police.”

When Kekana was contacted he refuted allegations that he had been given any form of settlement by the department on behalf of the couple.

However, he said he had advised the family that their issue was a police matter.

Additionally, he said, the money he had given to the family was a gift, but added that they did not need to pay him back because he did not need it anymore.

“Now when we go to the hospital looking for the file of the child’s birth the hospital claims to have no record of it,” he said.

The Department of Health told the Pretoria News it was looking into the matter.

Pretoria News

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