Cape Town-120425-Overjoyed mom Xoliswe Magoda and grandmother Nomsephi Ndumiso are reunited with baby Asenathi Magoda. Reporter Xolani. Picture Jeffrey Abrahams

Xolani Koyana

A MOTHER’S 26-hour ordeal came to an end yesterday when she was reunited with her three-week-old baby who had been snatched by a woman who miscarried her own child.

Xolisiwe Magoda,16, and her mother, Nomsephi Ndumiso, could not contain their happiness as Asenathi Magoda was returned after he disappeared on Tuesday afternoon.

He had been kidnapped at the Home Affairs office in Khayelitsha by a woman who pretended to be a social worker.

The 30-year-old woman has since been arrested by police at her mother’s house in Block 33, Khayelitsha. She had been hiding in a wardrobe.

Police had been unable to access CCTV footage at the Home Affairs office as the cameras were out of order.

“We couldn’t believe it. I’m glad my baby is back,” said an elated Xolisiwe.

Asenathi’s grandmother, Ndumiso, could not stop smiling as she held the baby.

“We didn’t know whether he was alive or not. We didn’t know what this woman was doing to him,” she said.

Before the infant was found, Xolisiwe, her mother and sister had been waiting at the Harare police station for news about the child. Xolisiwe told the Cape Times previously that she had met the woman at a clinic who had promised she could help get food, clothing and social grants for Asenathi.

“I thought she wanted to help us,” Xolisiwe said.

Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said they had traced the woman’s cellphone from calls she had made to Xolisiwe and Ndumiso on Tuesday.

The calls led them to a house in Mfuleni.

The woman was not there, but her husband told police she had gone to hospital to have a baby. Soon afterwards, with police present, the woman telephoned her husband to say she was at her mother’s house.

Police then went to the Khayelitsha home and found the woman hiding inside a wardrobe, holding the baby.

“It was confirmed that it was in fact the missing baby, Asenathi Magoda, and we arrested the suspect on charges of abduction,” Van Wyk said.

He said they later discovered that the woman had had a miscarriage.

She will appear in the Khayelitsha magistrate’s court after she is charged.

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