Police slam wasted resources on “abducted” Durban baby case

Baby Siwaphiwe is being cared for the Department of Social Development. PHOTO: Submitted.

POLICE have confirmed that the mother of baby Siwaphiwe has been arrested following her abduction in an apparent hijacking last Friday.

Brigadier Sally De Beer, acting head: corporate communications and liaison officer for the SAPS said the SAPS could not tolerate the “the diversion of police resources by people with selfish motives.”

The South African Police Service supported by law enforcement officers and scores of concerned community members, spent more than 24 hours searching for baby Siwaphiwe Mbambo who was reportedly snatched during a carjacking midday on Friday, 10 March.

De Beer said in her statement the baby’s mother reported to the police that her Toyota Yaris car had been hijacked with her one-month-old baby in the back seat when two men drove off in her car.

The car was later found abandoned in Montclair with the baby and the nappy bag missing.

She added that the police deployed all the resources necessary to conduct a search for the missing child joined by law enforcement officers, community members and organisations with an interest in finding the missing baby.

The search was intensified and further interviews were done with persons of interest.

However, too many inconsistencies emerged during the interviews especially in terms of the initial reporting to the police of how the incident developed.

“Information generated from the interviews became critical in the setting up of a roadblock in Mariannhill in the early hours of this morning. A car was stopped by the police wherein a man, a woman and the baby in question was found with the baby unharmed. The baby has been placed under the care of social development. Three people including the 34-year old biological mother of the baby, another woman and a man, have been arrested and are in custody,” said De Beer.

She added that members of the SAPS and all roleplayers involved were commended for ensuring the safe return of Baby Siwaphiwe Mbombo and the arrest of the perpetrators of serious crimes of this nature.

“The South African Police Service invested a lot in this case, including members working overtime, the use of vehicles and aircraft which impacted negatively on the availability of police resources in the fight against priority crimes. The diversion of policing resources by people with selfish motives cannot be tolerated at all. It is thus critical that in situations like this, those involved are dealt with during the processing of their cases by the courts of our country,” said De Beer.

A special prosecutor was appointed this morning to work with the SAPS on this case.

Acting national commissioner, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane said: “We, as the South African Police Service, are extremely grateful that this innocent baby has been rescued from a dubious situation to say the least. We thank our members, all other law enforcement agencies and security companies who stepped up to assist, as well as the civic minded members of the public who joined forces to assist in the search. We are a wonderful, caring society and it is disappointing when people take advantage of their fellow South African’s trust and belief in humanity. False claims of crimes which have an entire nation and beyond in a state of sorrow and anxiety, should be condemned,.

Those who have been arrested and are in custody, is expected to appear in court soon.

 

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  AUTHOR
Deshni Ramkissoon-Pillay
Journalist

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