The former girlfriend of an alleged Nigerian drug dealer yesterday told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria how she had helped to snatch a three-month-old baby girl off her mother’s back to please him.
Catherine Masombuka testified in the trial of her former boyfriend, Kingsley Nnadi, and Thapelo Derick Mthapo, who pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping the baby in January 2014. Nnadi also denied guilt to a charge of drug dealing. Masombuka is presently serving a 10-year jail term after earlier pleading guilty to the charges.
She testified that she used to act as a drug runner for Nnadi because she needed money for her family. She said Nnadi became angry and assaulted her because she could not give him a child of his own as her womb had been removed because of cancer.
She was scared when he told her they had to steal a baby, but accompanied Mthapo and a man called Happy (who has since died) to Dunottar on January 30, 2014. At a four-way stop Happy started following a woman who had a baby on her back. He grabbed the woman and her child and tried to put them in the car, but the woman fought back, causing the baby to fall on the ground.
Masombuka grabbed the baby while Happy and the mother were struggling and they then left the scene. She was taken to her grandmother’s home with the baby. She told her grandmother she had received the child from an adoption agent.
Later in the day, Nnadi brought baby supplies and gave her R4 000 to hand to Mthapo and Happy. Nnadi named the baby “Peace” and they had her with them for about a month.