Mother wants case reopened
A woman whose newborn baby was stolen from a Mpumalanga hospital 18 years ago wants the Health Department to reinvestigate the the child's disappearance.
Winnie Mgiba of Bushbuckridge gave birth to a baby girl on July 7 1989 at Mapulaneng Hospital. She named her Tlangelani - Xitsonga for celebrate.
The little girl, who weighed 2,5kg at birth was diagnosed with jaundice, which manifests as a yellowish staining of the skin and the whites of the eyes. She had to receive treatment before she could go home with her mother.
On July 18, the night before she was to be discharged, a nurse, whose name is known to Sowetan, approached Mgiba to ask her where Tlangelani was.
"I replied without any doubt that my baby was in the ward where she was being treated for jaundice. I knew the doctor had removed her from the incubator and we were going home the next day," she said.
"I was shocked when she told me that my baby was missing from her bed. When we went to check, only the sheet she had been wrapped in remained," Mgiba said.
Mgiba, now 35, said her happiness at giving birth to her first child only lasted a week.
"I opened a case with the police, but investigations did not explain where my baby was or how she was taken from the ward," she said.
She now feels her baby's disappearance was not efficiently investigated by the health authorities of the former Lebowa homeland, which administered the hospital then.
Mgiba also tried to seek help from lawyers, but they apparently just took her money and disappeared into thin air with promises of calling her.
The case was closed with no suspects having been identified at the Bushbuckridge police station.
Provincial health spokesman Mpho Gabashane said Mgiba should report her case to the chief of the hospital, who would write a report to the department's director-general to reopen the investigation.