On Monday morning 17-year-old Bongeka Ngcobo brought her little baby to town with her to do her Christmas shopping and to go to Home Affairs to apply for the baby’s birth certificate. With her hands full of plastic bags and carrying the baby the mother walked down Langalibalele Street to the Ematsheni taxi rank.
Whilst trudging along a friendly woman with a beaming smile wearing a light purple skirt started walking alongside her, eventually offering to help by carrying the baby for her.
“She complimented my child and asked to help me carry my baby – I was tired and I agreed,” says Ngcobo. Once they reached East Street the woman carrying the baby stopped, handed the child’s mother R20 and her to buy both of them a packet of fried chips.
“I went inside the shop to buy the chips while she was standing outside. When I came outside she was gone,” said the distraught girl.
“My whole world stopped in that moment when I realised that my child was gone…I haven’t been able to sleep. I don’t know what my baby is eating or if she is safe or not,” pleading for the public help her find the infant who was wearing a navy and white romper with blue stars and a white hat, wrapped in a white and yellow blanket.
Pietermaritzburg Central Police Station spokesperson, Captain Khosi Khonjelwayo confirmed that a case of child kidnapping has been opened. Khonjelwayo urged people to be more vigilant this festive season and not to trust strangers with their children.