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Two 'baby snatchers' charged

By unknown | Nov 16, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi, Sapa

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi, Sapa

Two cases involving baby snatchers came before the courts in Durban and Johannesburg yesterday.

The Johannesburg magistrate's court was asked by lawyer Fortune Mashamba to throw out a case in which Tumi Hilda Gumbi is accused of stealing a nine-day-old infant from her mother.

Mashamba told the court it was time the state produced evidence linking his client to the kidnapping case.

He said the state claimed to have an audio-tape as crucial evidence.

"The court must produce the audio-tape to prove there was a conversation between my client and the mother of the baby," he said.

The 22-year-old Gumbi from Soweto allegedly stole the baby on October 11.

She is alleged to have lured the mother of Kgotsofatso, Pretty Mahlaela, to the Johannesburg city centre under the pretext that she was going to put her in touch with television star Bonginkosi Dlamini of Zola 7 fame.

They met at the Carlton Centre and Gumbi allegedly snatched the nine-day-old baby from her teenage mother and disappeared. The case was postponed to January 18.

Sapa reports that a woman accused of stealing a newborn baby from its mother in northern KwaZulu-Natal early this month has appeared in the Mtubatuba magistrate's court.

Captain Jabulani Mdletshe said 26-year-old Henie Sidewise Gabela would remain in custody until her next court appearance on November 21, when she would apply for bail. She was arrested in Swaziland and appeared in court on Wednesday.

The 17-hour-old baby was allegedly stolen on November 1 when its mother Lindiwe Mngomezulu went to buy shoes.

Mngomezulu had given birth to a baby girl at Hlabisa Hospital in Mtubatuba and was returning home in a minibus taxi. There she met a woman who allegedly offered to take care of the child while she went to buy shoes.

The mother left her baby and her belongings with the stranger. When she returned to the taxi, the woman and baby were gone.

Police opened a child theft case and the woman was arrested in Nhlangano, Swaziland.

"She had been hiding at her boyfriend's house," Mdletshe said.

Gabela was arrested by Swaziland police for being in the country illegally.

She appeared in a local court and was sentenced to five months imprisonment, with the option of a R500 fine, for being an illegal immigrant.

Mtubatuba police brought Gabela back to KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday.

The 15-day-old baby has been reunited with her mother.


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