File Picture: Phandulwazi Jikelo

A tik-addicted mom left her six-month-old baby behind in a shop after she tried to steal a pair of sandals. The baby boy has been placed in the care of social workers as cops prepare to arrest his mother.

Shop owners at a Chinese store in Bonteheuwel claim 22-year-old Monique Manuels was in such a rush to get away after being accused of stealing a pair of R65 sandals, she left her baby, Maurice, behind in a pram.

Monique is also a mother to a six-year-old boy.

Now social workers have removed little Maurice from Monique’s care after he was found by police at the shop.

She could now face charges of theft and child abandonment.

The owners of the shop say Monique strolled into their shop just before 11am on Tuesday.

She allegedly shoved a pair of black sandals into a small bag while pushing Maurice in a pram.

Owner of the shop, Yong Song, says Monique ran for the door when she was caught red-handed.

“She came in with the pram and took the shoes and then she put the shoes into the small bag,” says Yong.

“When we looked in the small bag and found the shoes, she ran out without her baby.”

The owners immediately contacted the police.

They then removed the child to be placed in the hands of social workers.

When the Daily Voice arrived at the Multi-Purpose Centre in Bonteheuwel, a social worker was consulting with the mom’s neighbour, Louise Davids, 46.

Louise has now been certified as an emergency mother for little Maurice.

The infant’s body was covered in pimples and signs of neglect were obvious.

Louise says she was visiting the Bonteheuwel Police Station when she heard her neighbour’s child was there.

She also claims the mother informed her of what had happened before she went to the police station.

“She stole a pair of shoes and left her child at the shop,” she says.

“She is on drugs and I have spoken to her about being responsible.”

Monique’s aunt, Selena Barkuis, admits the young mother has been doing tik for three years and is worried about the child.

“I would have wanted the child to be placed in my care as a family member, we weren’t given a chance for this,” she says.

Police spokesperson November Filander says the owners of the shop have not opened a theft case but cops are looking for the mother.

“The police will open a child neglect/abandonment case against the mother of the child,” says Filander.

* This article was published in the Daily Voice