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Cape Town – Table View police had an unexpected surprise when a 23-year-old woman, apprehended for alleged shoplifting, suddenly went into labour in police holding cells on Thursday morning.

She gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Captain Adriana Chandler of the Table View police station said in a statement. 

"It was very quick. Police members assisted the women when she went into labour in one of the holding cells and calmed her until the medics arrived. 

"The station bought the newborn a couple of items and the mother was given a care package from the Victim Support Room, kindly provided by Woman Against Rape.

"After the birth, mother and baby were taken to a nearby hospital. Both the mom and baby are doing very well. The mother was very grateful to everyone who helped her."

Chandler said police had been called by a shopping mall over a shoplifting complaint. She was taken to the police station's holding cells for routine processing, News24 reported. 

"The woman was very small. The officers could not tell that she was pregnant. She carried very small," said Chandler.

The status of the accusation against the woman was not clear yet, but police released her. 

Cape Times