Promise of a job ends in mom’s heartbreak

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kidnapped baby main THE STAR Victoria Muyambo from Zimbabwe says her son was stolen by a woman who promised her a job, but disappeared with her baby at a shop in central Joburg. Photo: Sharon Seretlo

Johannesburg - Victoria Muyambo was delighted when she was offered a job as a domestic worker. She is a street beggar and had been desperate to find employment. But that delight turned to horror when her soon-to-be-employer snatched her two-month-old baby boy, Prince.

The mother-of-two, who comes from Zimbabwe, met her “employer” Grace in the Pretoria CBD three weeks ago while begging on Nelson Mandela Drive.

Desperate to find employment, Muyambo agreed to travel to Joburg with the woman. She said she was promised R250 a day as a domestic worker.

They took a train from the Pretoria CBD to Park station, bound for Tembisa in Ekurhuleni, where the woman said she lived.

With Muyambo were her two children, including her two-year-old daughter.

While in the train, Muyambo said she told the woman it would be safer if they first visited the nearest police station. She said she wanted the woman to sign an “employment agreement” at the police station.

kidnap baby 2 The alleged kidnapper is seen carrying baby at a supermarket near the Noord Street taxi rank in this CCTV image. Joburg police are investigating the babys disappearance. Supplied CCTV footage SUPPLIED

This was in case anything happened to her, but Muyambo said the woman refused, saying she was a Christian.

When they arrived at the Noord Street taxi rank, she said the woman suggested that they get formula milk and a few things for the baby at a Boxer supermarket.

She added that her son was already in the woman’s arms.

“She asked to carry him moments after we took off from Pretoria.

“She looked suspicious as she was on her phone throughout the entire trip. We never spoke a lot,” said the mother.

“Her disappearance was so quick inside the shop when I took the bags to the parcel counter. She quickly used the exit door to run away,” she explained.

kidnap baby footage The alleged kidnapper is seen carrying baby at a supermarket near the Noord Street taxi rank in this CCTV image. Joburg police are investigating the babys disappearance. Supplied CCTV footage SUPPLIED

“The security guards tried to help, but she was gone. I walked around the shop but she was nowhere,” said the mother.

Joburg police spokesman warrant Officer Xoli Mbele confirmed that a case of a missing child had been opened.

Muyambo, who lives with her friends in Mmakau, near Pretoria, said she never thought she would experience another tragedy soon after her husband’s death.

“This is too painful to handle. I named my son after his late father, Prince. I thought my baby would be a remembrance of his dad every time I looked at him,” she said, adding that her husband had died before Prince was born.

It also appears that the woman, Grace, might have tried to snatch another child the night before Prince’s disappearance.

Muyambo claimed a friend from the streets, a 22-year-old mother, met a woman who she believes was Grace.

“She told me Grace wanted a child and had slept at her place the night before my baby was stolen. My friend said Grace told her she would go with her to her place, but Grace refused as it was late for them to travel,” she said.

 

Muyambo said the woman walked around with a black school bag, which she claimed had baby’s clothes inside.

She described the alleged kidnapper as short in height with a dark complexion.

She does not have any pictures of her son.

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