WATCH | ‘Police forced me to confess’: Schoolgirl accused of snatching baby tells court
“Four detectives were interrogating me throughout the day I was arrested. The detectives said if I admit I took the baby they would make sure I would get bail and walk free. All I wanted to do was go home so I wrote the confession they wanted. The detectives told me what to write.”
This was the testimony of 18-year-old Karabo Tau, the Cape Town high school pupil who is accused of kidnapping a two-month-old twin from Khayelitsha on January 16 2020.
The Claremont High pupil took the stand on Thursday for the first time during her bail hearing at Bellville magistrate’s court.
“The detectives told me I should say I was forced by foreign nationals to steal the baby,” said Tau as a packed courtroom listened in. “I was scared of going to prison so I gave them two names of foreign nationals I knew and that I handed the baby over to the foreign nationals.”
One of the foreign national's name’s she gave police was Ely Kibunda, a friend of the accused. Kibunda has also been arrested in connection with the abduction of the baby and is now in custody.
State prosecutor Matrose Tobinceba lashed back at the teenager.
“You don't even have a single teardrop in court today but you were apparently victimised by the police in this manner?!” said Tobinceba.
“If you expect me to cry I won't. I've cried more than enough. I can throw a tantrum and cry in the stand but you'll still believe I stole the baby. There's no point in me throwing tantrums and crying,” said Tau.
“I was at school when the child was taken. I don't know where the child is, I don't even know who the child is. The first time I saw the child was on a flyer the police gave me.”
Two more witnesses were called by Tau’s lawyer Sulaiman Chothia. One was a Claremont High isiXhosa teacher who said Tau was in her class from 2pm to 3pm on the day in question.
The second witness, the school’s IT manager Johan Thompson, testified about CCTV footage presented to the court allegedly showing Karabo Tau at school with her friends at 3.26pm on the same day. However, Thompson confirmed that the time on the footage was 20 minutes ahead, making the actual time 3.06pm.
The time period is crucial as the baby’s mother, Asanda Tiwane, identified the teen as the culprit who lured them to Parow during the same time that Tau says she was at school.
Tau will remain in custody until February 11 when arguments will be heard from both the prosecution and the defence before the judge will decide on bail.