Pietermaritzburg -

A 7-month-old baby was snatched at the Pietermaritzburg Home Affairs office on Tuesday.

The mother, Phumzile Dlamini, 17, had gone to Home Affairs with her sister, Nokwanda, 18.

Phumzile’s older sister, Zanele Dlamini, who spoke for the family, said while Phumzile went to fill in birth certificate application forms she left baby Fanele with Nokwanda.

The kidnapper started playing with the child. “The woman had been sitting next to them for a while and was not acting suspiciously.”

The woman asked to hold the child and Nokwanda gave the baby a dummy, which fell on the floor. But when Nokwanda looked up after picking up the dummy, the woman had disappeared with the baby.

“It was chaos. Nokwanda searched for the woman but could not find her,” said Zanele.

Phumzile came back, realised what had happened and went to the Loop Street police station straight away.

The family returned to the police station on Wednesday but said they were not happy about how they were treated.

“We went early in the morning, but they would not help us until 4pm,” said Zanele. “No one was patient. We were desperate.”

Zanele said they had also gone to Bulwer looking for the woman as, while waiting in the queue, the kidnapper had let on that she was from there.

Loop Street police confirmed that an inquiry had been opened.

A representative, of the station, who asked not to be named, said: “It is very hard to look for a baby that small. They cannot speak and they all look similar when they are that young.”

The Mercury