Parents beg for return of stolen baby

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Fanele Dlamini

Durban - The parents of the baby kidnapped from the Pietermaritzburg Home Affairs office are pleading with the kidnapper to return their daughter.

“Please, all we want is our baby back safe. We don’t care who you are or why you did it. We just want our precious child back,” cried Phumzile Dlamini, 22, the baby’s mother.

The baby’s father, Mqondisi Gasa, 23, said that he could not concentrate on anything since seven-month-old Fanele Dlamini had been abducted last Tuesday.

“Please, whoever you are that took my child, please give her back to us,” Gasa pleaded.

Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that despite the efforts of the police, there have been no sightings of Fanele.

“We urge anyone with information about her whereabouts to contact the Pietermaritzburg SAPS at 033 845 2415 or Crime Stop at 08600 10111. Police will follow every lead,” Zwane said.

Dlamini, from Swayimane in Wartburg, had gone to the Home Affairs office on Tuesday, accompanied by her sister and Fanele to apply for a birth certificate. While she was filling in the paperwork, a woman who identified herself as “Sma from Impendle” approached.

The woman spent three hours with Dlamini, asking questions about Fanele, telling her that she was also there to apply for a birth certificate for her child.

The women were sitting near the exit of the second floor when Dlamini, who was still busy filling in the application, lost sight of the suspect, who was carrying Fanele.

“I ran downstairs to look for her, but she was nowhere to be found,” Dlamini said.

The suspect is in her 20s, short, light in complexion and wears long, black braids.

On April 14, Olwethu Madlala was snatched from the same Home Affairs office.

Nokhulunga Mzila, 25, was arrested for the kidnapping and granted bail of R1 000 by the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court last month.

Mzila was arrested after a chance encounter with Olwethu’s mother at the Edendale Mall on June 1. She is due to appear in court again next week.

The kidnapping of Fanele, just three months after Olwethu’s abduction, has sparked debate across the city with many asking what would drive a woman to steal another person’s child.

Nomphumelelo Madalose, a prison psychologist who handles matters involving missing and abused children, said women who snatched a babies were typically not motivated by maternal envy or a burning desire for motherhood.

It was usually her desire to hang on to a boyfriend or husband in a deteriorating relationship.

“To do that, she feels she must produce a baby,” Mada-lose said.

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