The heavily pregnant Ekurhuleni woman who was reported missing this week might have faked her kidnapping in a desperate attempt to cover up a false pregnancy when her supposed due date was drawing closer.
The twist emerged when the 22-year-old Vosloorus woman, who was said be full-term, handed herself over to the police on Wednesday night following a manhunt for her supposed abductors. Nkokozo Ntshangase, 25, who believed that he was the father of Mbalenhle Mvungande’s unborn baby, early this week said he received text messages on his phone that she had been kidnapped for her unborn baby.
“I was at home with my friend and sister when I received a picture of her from her WhatsApp number. She was gagged,” Ntshangase said at the time.
The picture was accompanied by a message asking: “Is this your baby, mama?”
“I said yes, and asked who I was speaking to. But there was no response. The next message said: ‘She is safe, we only wanted the little one.’ They offered to show me ‘a picture of daddy’s little princess’,” he said.
“They sent a picture, but I could see it had been taken off the internet. My friend and I rushed to her house and then went to the police station,” Ntshangase said.
These were the taunts he received before Mvungande resurfaced at Vosloorus police station after being missing for more than a week. The Star on Thursday reported extensively on Mvungande’s disappearance after pictures of her gagged with a black cloth and posted by her alleged abductors went viral on social media.
The re-emergence of the young mother-to-be was the culmination of a week in which her loved ones and the father of her unborn child frantically searched for her. She was meant to give birth to a baby girl this week. Sources close to the family, who asked not to be identified, on Thursday blew the lid on the dramatic disappearance and re-emergence of Mvungande. They claimed Mvungande’s cellphone was tracked to Mahikeng in North West; and that she had not been kidnapped, but was with another man.
The man got a call to tell him to give her money so that she could come home. She apparently caught a taxi and returned home on Thursday. On arrival at the police station, Mvungande told police officers that on the day she disappeared, she was picked up by strangers in a vehicle.
“She says she was given something to drink and passed out. When she regained consciousness, she was no longer pregnant. It is all very strange. It doesn’t make sense,” said a source.
The family on Thursday night confirmed she had been found after being tracked in the North West. They further insisted that she had lost the baby but was recovering in hospital.
A police source said Mvungande was no longer with the father of her unborn baby, but he continued to send her money for her doctor’s appointments and other expenses for the infant. Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini confirmed that she had resurfaced, but could not say if the pregnancy was a hoax.
“This office may not reveal details of pending investigations. Police are still busy investigating a case of kidnapping, and no suspects have been identified so far.”
But he confirmed that Mvungande was no longer missing and had turned up without the expected baby.
“She came to the police station on Wednesday night. At this stage, we are investigating all the allegations,” Dlamini said, adding that police were also determining whether she was pregnant.