Woman, 53, in court after 6-week-old infant goes missing
Johannesburg: A woman, 53, appeared in the Brits Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday in connection with a 6-week-old boy who went missing two weeks ago.
The baby, who was with his mother when he disappeared on July 20, was found on Tuesday, August 4.
Maria Nkabinde of the Brits Police, said the mother, 19, was at the post office with the father of the child to collect the special R350 grant when she met the woman.
The old woman was carrying a baby on her back and she struck a conversation with the young mom.
After getting the grant, the mother left immediately to go home, leaving the father of the child behind.
It’s not known what the old woman was doing at the post office but she is alleged to have left with the mother.
Nkabinde said that before they went to the taxi rank, the mother said she wanted to buy bread as she was hungry. She left the child with the older woman.
When she returned, the older woman had disappeared with her baby.
“Police were informed and we got word out that a baby was missing. We went to the radio stations, different newspapers and also took the case to TV stations.
“We also put placards everywhere for people to be on the look out for the baby,” she said.
Nkabinde said that on Tuesday the 29-year-old father received an anonymous call from someone who told him he knew where his baby was.
“He immediately alerted the police who acted swiftly and made a follow-up on the information. On arrival at a residential place in Siyahlala section, Oukasie outside Brits, the police found the baby, then called the parents for identification.
“The baby was positively identified and reunited with the parents unharmed.
“The woman was then arrested by the Brits Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences.”
It was also found that the mother and the old woman did not know each other, although they live in the same area.
Nkabinde said in spite of the fact that the baby had been separated from his parents for almost three weeks, the positive outcome from the case was that not only was he not harmed but also that he had been well taken care of.
The old woman, who has a 23-year-old child at university, was released on a warning and is expected back in court on September 23.
Asked what had happened to the other baby the woman was carrying that day, Nkabinde said police never received any other report about a missing child. On the day the woman was arrested, the child was also not at the house.
The District Commissioner of Bojanala Sub-district 1, Major-General Modisagaarekwe Mosimanegape thanked police and the community for sharing valuable information which yielded positive results.
Mosimanegape emphasised the importance of co-operation between the police and the community, in a bid to create a safe environment for children.
He said the safety of children was a collective responsibility as it took a village to raise a child.