A 19-year-old girl appeared before the Pretoria North Magistrates’ Court on Monday facing kidnapping charges.
She was found with a baby that was not hers at the weekend.
The Zimbabwean woman is accused of taking a five-month-old baby from Orchards in Pretoria North last week after being offered a job to take care of the infant while his mother was at work.
The child’s mother, who may not be named to protect the child’s identity, said she met the suspect last month in the neighbourhood and she [the suspect] said she was looking for work.
“We exchanged contact details as I said I would help her look for a job.
“She maintained contact and would often call me to find out if I got a job for her.”
Last week, when the child’s mother had to return to work from maternity leave, her nanny did not show up for work.
She saw this as opportunity to finally give the suspect a job.
“She was the first person I thought of. She agreed to come, but I think she always had the intention of taking my child, because on her first day at work she asked a neighbour for the security code to leave the complex.”
The suspect managed to exit the complex on Wednesday when the neighbour eventually provided the code.
She left with the infant and the older son’s cellphone.
“When my son returned home, he found his cellphone was gone and no one in the house. He used the security guard’s phone to contact me. I immediately rushed home and found that my baby and this lady were gone.”
The child’s mother opened a missing person’s report at a police station and tracked her son’s cellphone, which led to Soshanguve and then Ga-Rankuwa, where the family split to search both townships.
The baby was found with the suspect in Ga-Rankuwa on Saturday and she was arrested
“This woman told her boyfriend that she had a child and took my child to prove to him that she had given birth. She even went to register the child for a social grant at the South African Social Security Agency,” she said.
Police spokesperson Captain Matthews Nkoadi said the case was postponed for further investigation.
“She was arrested with an accomplice, but the matter was postponed to conduct more investigations as that accomplice did not appear in court. It was remanded until next Monday.”
The child’s mother said: “I still don’t have a nanny, but I will make a plan once I return to work. It hurts my feelings that someone went into my home and took my child, but I am happy she is safe in my arms,” she said.