Snatched baby’s parents furious over bail

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Olwethu Madlala was reunited with his parents on Monday night after being missing for two months.

Durban - The parents of the baby boy who was kidnapped from a Home Affairs office earlier this year, sparking a massive search across the province, are outraged that the woman who allegedly abducted their son has been granted bail.

Nonhlanhla Madlala and Bonginkosi Mphemba said they did not believe the woman deserved bail after what she had put them through.

“We suffered for two months, not knowing if our baby was dead or alive. Nothing is worse for a parent than not knowing where their child is,” Madlala said.

Nokhulunga Mzila, 25, was granted bail of R1 000 on Thursday and will appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court again on July 3.

Her lawyer, Phumlani Fakude, told the court that after discussions with Mzila’s family, there was a strong possibility the woman would be referred for psychological evaluation.

Mzila has said that she will be pleading not guilty to the charge of kidnapping.

Mzila allegedly adbucted 1-month-old Olwethu Madlala from the Pietermaritzburg Home Affairs office on April 14.

Olwethu’s mother had taken him there to register his birth.

Mzila allegedly offered to hold the baby while Madlala filled in forms.

She then allegedly snatched Olwethu.

Mzila was arrested after a chance encounter with Madlala at the Edendale Mall on June 1.

Madlala had been shopping at the mall when she recognised the woman who had allegedly snatched her baby.

Mzila also realised who Madlala was and allegedly fled, carrying a baby in a blanket. But, Madlala was not prepared to give up without a fight.

She went into every shop in the mall, asking staff and customers if they had seen the woman and the baby.

She eventually found the shop where the woman had worked. The staff there told Madlala where Mzila lived.

Madlala told the authorities and Mzila was arrested.

Madlala said on Thursday that if she had not seen Mzila in the Edendale Mall on that day, her baby would most likely still be missing.

“We are very angry that this woman has been allowed to walk free after what she did,” Madlala said.

Madlala said while Olwethu was in good health, she was unsettled by the fact that certain cultural customs had been performed on her baby during his abduction, which included part of his hair being shaven.

“This was very upsetting. In terms of Zulu custom, each family or clan has its own traditions after a child is born. From what I have seen, certain customs were performed on my child that I was not aware of,” Madlala said.

Pietermaritzburg psychologist and social worker Dalene Naidoo said in cases in which a woman snatched a baby, the motivation was “usually her desire to hang on to a boyfriend or husband in a deteriorating relationship”.

To do that, the woman felt she must produce a baby.

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