South Africa 4.9.2018 01:43 pm

Suspected kidnapper arrested at school

The police say the baby appeared to be in good health and had been bottle-fed by the suspect.

A 21-year-old student suspected of kidnapping a two-month-old baby from Umzinto last week was arrested at a school in the area on Monday.

KZN SAPS spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbela said in a statement the suspect was arrested at around 11 am at a school in Qwabe ward in Msinsini.

“The suspect led them [the police] to a house in Turton where the baby, Sbahle Vapi, was found,” Mbhele said.

The police spokesperson said the baby appeared to be in good health and had been bottle-fed by the suspect.

“She is being taken to the hospital for a medical assessment.  The suspect is due to appear in the Umzinto Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 5 September 2018 on a charge of kidnapping.”

In a statement last week, the police said Sbahle’s mother, 28, had been approached by the suspect while at the Umzinto taxi rank last week.

“It is alleged that the mother, who was carrying her baby, was with two friends at the Umzinto taxi rank on Tuesday, 28 August at approximately 2.30pm when she was approached by an unknown woman dressed in a pink nightgown.

“The woman called her aside and explained that she was the victim of abuse and was destitute with no place to stay. The baby’s mother decided to help the stranger and took her to her home in the NPA informal settlement in Umzinto,” the provincial SAPS media centre said.

According to the police, at approximately 8 pm, the suspect complained of a headache and asked her host to get some painkillers from her neighbours.

“Leaving her baby behind, the mother went to get the painkillers but returned a short while later to find that the woman she took pity on and her baby girl had disappeared. The baby’s clinic card, milk formula and feeding bottle were also missing. A search for the missing woman and the baby proved fruitless and the matter was reported to the police.”

Sbahle’s parents, named by Isolezwe as Mkhalelwa Gqoloda, father, and Nokuphiwa Vapi, mother, were relieved that their two-month-old baby had been found.

Vapi told the newspaper that when she heard that her baby had been found, she rushed to the local police station and was taken to where Sbahle had been found and discovered the suspect in school uniform bottle feeding the baby.

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