Welfare returns baby to casino mom

Pertunia Ratsatsi

Pertunia Ratsatsi

The self-confessed gambling mother, whose child was taken away from her by Tembisa welfare officials, has been reunited with her six-month-old baby.

Nomvuyo Williams, 35, was ecstatic when welfare officials handed her baby, Owami, back to her yesterday.

Williams, who had rented a flat in Kempton Park, left for Gold Reef City on March 1, leaving her baby with her helper, Vuyokazi Ngqoleka, 37.

While Ngqoleka and the baby were being evicted from the flat for rent money outstanding, Williams was out gambling.

She had no intention of returning until making enough money to buy food, pay for the flat and pay Ngqoleka her salary.

Her mission was, however, disrupted when she saw her picture in Sowetan when it broke the story about her disappearance on Tuesday.

After the child's plight was highlighted in the paper, Tembisa welfare officers moved swiftly and took the child away.

On Wednesday, Williams was arrested for child neglect after refusing to leave the offices where she was demanding welfare officials return her baby.

She told Sowetan yesterday that police at Kempton Park set her free after they realised there was no case against her

"The police said they could not arrest me because I neither abused my child nor left her with a stranger," she said.

Williams only got her daughter back yesterday morning after making another trip to the welfare offices.

"I am very happy now that I am reunited with my baby and would like to thank Sowetan for making me think straight and do the right thing.I would also like to thank Ngqoleka for putting up with my behaviour and for looking after my baby," she said.

Williams promised to behave herself and "I will focus on getting a job and I will stop going to the casino for my baby's sake".