An alleged Nigerian drug dealer’s girlfriend who admitted that she had snatched a three-month-old baby off her mother’s back and hid drugs in the baby’s nappy was sentenced in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to 10 years effective imprisonment today.
Sentencing Jabulile Masombuka, 25, Judge Momonde Mngqibisa-Thusi said Masombuka had experienced the pain of losing a child after her premature baby died and must have empathised with the pain the baby’s mother must have gone through.
Masombuka said in a statement her boyfriend had to kidnap a baby after she told him she could not have children as her womb had been removed to prevent cancer following the death of her premature baby.
She admitted that she had tried to hide drugs in the baby’s nappy after her boyfriend phoned her from jail and warned her there was going to be a police raid at their house in Brakpan.
Masobuka was arrested and the baby’s kidnapping came to light when some of the drugs fell out of the nappy.
A letter in which she asked the baby’s parents for forgiveness and said she spent nights filled with remorse and regret about her actions was handed in as evidence.
Masombuka also expressed the hope that the baby girl would one day forget about the trauma of being separated from her mother and said she wanted to become a better member of society.
The state argued that it was an aggravating factor that the baby was breastfed when she was kidnapped, but her mother now had to pay extra to bottle-feed her. The kidnapping almost ended the mother’s marriage because her husband’s family at first suspected her of being involved in the child’s disappearance and placed her under huge pressure.
Judge Thusi said the fact that Masombuka was a first offender and had pleaded guilty to the charges was not indicative of any remorse. The evidence against her was overwhelming as she had been found in possession of the baby and the drugs.
She had kept the baby for a month and had it not been for the drug raid, intended to keep the baby for herself permanently. She wished to satisfy her own selfish need for a baby regardless of how much pain she caused.
Her boyfriend, Kingsley Nnadi, and Thapelo Mthapo, who both denied guilt to the kidnapping charge, will go on trial separately in October.