Khayelitsha twin accused said cops 'forced' her to admit she kidnapped the baby
Cape Town - Dressed in her school uniform, alleged baby snatcher 18-year-old Karabo Tau on Thursday told the Bellville Magistrate’s Court she didn’t kidnap two-month-old Kwahlelwa Tiwane.
The Claremont High Grade 12 pupil took the stand in her bail application. She is accused of kidnapping the baby on January 16 by posing as a social worker in Parow and apparently selling the baby.
“The only time when I saw the baby was when the police showed me a flyer of the missing child. On the day the baby disappeared I was at school.
“The first time I saw the mother of the baby was when she testified in this court. I have no idea why she is saying it was me who took her baby,” she said.
State prosecutor Matrose Tobinceba asked Karabo why she had initially admitted that she took the baby.
“Four detectives questioned me and they forced me to admit that I kidnapped the baby. They told me that my dreams would be destroyed if I didn’t, and told me that I would be released if I make that admission.
“I was scared and a female detective Samsodien told me what to write down on my statement. They didn’t tell me that I was entitled to have a lawyer present while taking my statement.”
The court played video footage showing Karabo Tau in class the day two-month-old Kwahlelwa Tiwane went missing. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
The prosecution also wanted to know from Karabo of her relationship with the second accused, Ely Kibunda, a foreign national from the Democratic Republic of Congo who is also facing a count of kidnapping.
“I know him from Facebook and we have been chatting for the past year.
“The last time I saw Kibunda was in November 2019 in Gugulethu Mall.”
Karabo’s isiXhosa teacher Thokozile Godana also took the stand and confirmed that the pupil was in her class at the time the baby was kidnapped.
“Karabo was in my class on January 16 between 2pm and 3pm. I’m 100% sure that she was in my class. She sat in the front row in the classroom,” Godana said.
This was corroborated by CCTV footage showing on January 16, at 15:26, the learner standing chatting to a friend at Claremont High.
The school’s IT manager Johan Thompson said: “The footage extracted from the digital video recorder wasn’t tampered with. The time on the system was 20 minutes ahead for the past two years when I started at the school.
“I was asked to get the footage showing that Karabo was at school. I was given a picture of her and before that I didn’t know what she looked like.”
Thompson on instruction of the prosecution walked to the screen in court E and pinpointed where Karabo was standing on the footage. Family members and friends talked with Karabo during a short break and she appeared more relaxed and blowing kisses.
Magistrate Charles Scott remanded the matter for arguments on Tuesday.