Johannesburg - The sound of a baby crying bitterly is all that has been ringing in Alphina Dintso’s ears for the past five days.
Lactating but with no one to breastfeed, Dintso has been expressing the excess milk that fills her painful breasts into the toilet just to ease the pain.
Her son Rorisang, who turned five months on Sunday, has been missing since Thursday.
Worry and guilt have been gnawing at the 44-year-old woman since then, and appetite, thirst and sleep have eluded her.
On Wednesday, Hilda Mokoena, 73, allegedly visited the family and said Dorah’s Arc, a crèche in Roodepoort, was throwing a Valentine’s party for children a few months old, and they would get napkins, milk and toys.
The children were also to be entered in a competition. The winner would get financial assistance with studies from primary school until they completed university, she apparently said.
Mokoena and Dintso’s husband, John Majila, 70, have known each other for years and regarded each other as family friends.
The family said Mokoena initially asked about Majila’s relatives’ children that she could take to the party.
There were none.
When she realised that he and Dintso had a four-month-old baby, she asked to take him.
“She then produced an affidavit complete with a police stamp. She said it was because she wanted to show us that what she was talking about was legitimate,” Majila recalled.
The following day, around 9am, Mokoena arrived at the family’s White City house with toys and napkins for Rorisang.
Dintso wanted to accompany them, but Mokoena allegedly said the transport that had been organised was only for the children.
She had brought girls’ clothes, pink leggings and a pink shirt, which she said all children, Rorisang included, had to wear.
The last time the child’s parents saw him was when Mokoena – who was carrying the pink-clad boy – left for the party.
The child was to be returned at about 5pm.
When 5pm came and went, they called Mokoena, who said she was still organising transport.
When she stopped taking their calls, they went to her house, where her grandson, Tebogo, told them that the last time he had seen Mokoena was when he walked her to the taxi rank on Thursday.
With her were both Rorisang and Tebogo’s son Lebogang, who is one year old.
Rorisang’s parents opened a case on Friday when Mokoena failed to arrive at noon as she had promised.
Accompanied by police, they all went to the crèche. The owner said she knew Mokoena but she was not there on Thursday and that she last saw her last Monday.
Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela, of the Jabulani police, said they had opened a case of kidnapping against Mokoena.
The old woman’s family were shocked at what happened. They had been calling Mokoena’s two phones, but their calls went straight to voicemail.
Meanwhile, in Diepsloot, mystery surrounds the discovery of the body of a girl believed to be between 3 and 4 years old.
It was found by a passer-by around 6pm on Saturday.
Gauteng police spokeswoman Colonel Katlego Mogale said the body was found under the R551 bridge.
The cause of death was not yet known, and no one knew who the parents were because no one had come forward to claim the body, she said.