Mother shocked by baby's R2,5k price tag

Bikokuhle Hlatshwayo at Chris Hani Baragwath Hospital with her baby Mpumelelo after she was found unharmed.
Bikokuhle Hlatshwayo at Chris Hani Baragwath Hospital with her baby Mpumelelo after she was found unharmed.
Image: PROMISE MARUPENG

The mother of a baby who was abducted from Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital last week has expressed shock that her little girl had a price tag.

Bikokuhle Hlatshwayo, 24, spoke for the first time about her ordeal from the hospital where her baby was snatched by an unknown woman.

"Police told me that my baby was sold for R2,500 and I cannot stop thinking what if I never found her," she said.

Hlatshwayo said she was happy that her baby was found safe and returned back to her.

Hlatshwayo gave birth to a baby girl on Wednesday at eight months after she was transferred from Orange Farm Clinic due to complications.

She woke up to an empty baby cubicle less than 24 hours later.

Hlatshwayo said a patient next to her bed told her that a lady, who claimed to be her mother-in-law, came while she was heavily sedated.

"I was heavily sedated following my caesarean section procedure and I was resting," she recalled.

Hlatshwayo said she immediately left her bed and walked to the corridors to check for the "mother-in-law" who had taken the baby to be seen by the 'family'.

"I was surprised not to find any family member outside. I then took my phone and checked with my real mother-in-law, but she said she was only on her way. I then panicked and cried helplessly."

Hlatshwayo said she then asked the nurses and security personnel in the ward, but they said they didn't know anything.

"It didn't make sense that not a single staff member saw anything. I was then called to view the hospital footage and I saw a woman I don't know leaving with my baby," she said.

Thabang Morodi had not even seen his firstborn baby before she was allegedly abducted from the maternity ward of the Chris Hani Baragwanath academic hospital.
Thabang Morodi had not even seen his firstborn baby before she was allegedly abducted from the maternity ward of the Chris Hani Baragwanath academic hospital.
Image: Mduduzi Ndzingi/Sowetan

Hlatshwayo said what upset her after viewing the footage was seeing that the abductor walked right past a security guard who was glued to her cellphone.

The child's grandmother, Phindile Monareng, said she was shocked to get a call asking about her first grandchild's whereabouts.

"I had just bought clothes preparing to go and see my grandchild.

"I was shaking and immediately rushed to the hospital where I found Biko [the mother], miserable," said Monareng.

The grandmother said she confronted staff, who confirmed that a woman had sneaked out of the hospital with the baby unnoticed.

The baby was found on Friday at a house in Diepkloof, less than 5km away from the hospital and returned to her mother following positive DNA tests.

The child's father, Thabang Morodi, 25, said he could not stop thinking about how he almost lost his first-born child.

"She's my first child. I didn't understand why would anyone want to deny me the opportunity to be a father before I could even meet my daughter," he said.

A 35-year-old woman, who was arrested in connection with the abduction of the child, is expected to appear at the Protea magistrate's court today.

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