Women posing as social workers in Pinetown receive hefty sentences for baby sale

A photo of the two women taken after their arrest in 2015.

THE two women charged for human trafficking, kidnapping, corruption, money-laundering and fraud were sentenced by the Pinetown Regional Court on Friday, 29 September.

The first accused, Nokuzola Trazely Msweli (49), was sentenced to 45 years imprisonment.

The second accused, Sibongile Priscilla Ndimande (44), was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.

The story of stealing and selling a baby boy made headlines in 2015.

The incident took place in Pinetown CBD, Stansfield Lane on 29 October 2014.

Pinetown SAPS communications officer, W/O Muzi Maphumulo, said the mother of the six-month-old baby, Tania Sewpersad was visited by two women at her home in Itshelimnyama, Mariannhill. She purportedly met them earlier at St Mary’s Hospital.

“The two women, who posed as social workers, promised to organise clothes and food for Sewpersad’s children, and asked her to come with them to Pinetown. When they were in Stansfield Lane, they gave Sewpersad R10 to go and buy cakes and juice for the boy and said she should leave the baby with them (Msweli and Ndimande). She left the baby and went to the shop with the boy, and when she returned five minutes later, Msweli and Ndimande were missing with her baby son,” said Maphumulo.

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Msweli was arrested on 3 March 2015 at Pinetown Clinic after an intensive investigation.

Various identity documents and birth certificates, with registration of death and death forms, were found in possession of Msweli when she was arrested when Sewpersad identified her on the spot.

Ndimande was later arrested with the help of Msweli.

“The investigation led to the discovery of the baby boy in the Point area in Durban. The baby had been sold to a couple who confirmed purchasing the child from the women impersonating social workers for R2 500. Msweli and Ndimande were denied bail.

The women were convicted for all charges made against them; human trafficking, kidnapping, corruption, money laundering and fraud.

ALSO READ: Pinetown CPFs’ crime stats shows increase

During sentencing, Magistrate Ndlovu said Msweli and Ndimande did not show any remorse to the families who were hurt by their actions.

Catherine Ramlatchman, who bought the child, was also arrested, and was fined R15 000 and two years of correctional services.

Pinetown SAPS station commander, Brigadier Mandla Mhlongo, welcomed the sentence. “This sentence will serve as a deterrent to others who want to commit similar crimes. Selling a person is totally unacceptable. The effort of the investigating officer, Det/Sgt Bongiwe Zondo of Pinetown family and violence unit (FCS) to solve this crime is appreciated,” said Mhlongo.



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Sanelisiwe Tsinde

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