A 44-year-old grandmother from Tshidaulu, Mbilwi village outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo has been arrested and charged with child stealing. The woman allegedly took her 20-day-old grandchild and then reported the baby as missing. The arrest took place on Thursday, and the grandmother is set to appear before the Thohoyandou Magistrates Court on Monday, September 18, 2023.
According to Colonel Malesela Ledwaba, the police spokesperson, the incident unfolded on Tuesday when the suspect slept in the same room as her 16-year-old daughter, who is the mother of the infant. While they had separate beds, the daughter was sleeping with her newborn. The following morning, on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, when the teenager woke up to prepare for school, she discovered that her daughter was missing.
Once the grandmother realized the baby was missing, she reported a missing person case to the Thohoyandou Police Station on behalf of her minor daughter. The police immediately initiated an investigation and contacted the grandmother, who initially misled them by claiming to be at her workplace in Levubu. However, it was later discovered that she was seen walking with a paper bag, which she concealed at an unknown house in Tshidaulu, Mbilwi village.
"However, it was discovered that the grandmother was not at her workplace but was seen walking with a paper bag which she concealed at an unknown house at Tshidaulu, Mbilwi village.Another search was conducted in the area with assistance of the Makhado K9 unit Dog and the baby was later found abandoned in a house without any injuries and taken to Trauma Centre for safekeeping."
During the police interview, the grandmother admitted to stealing the baby and falsely reporting a missing person case. The grandmother was arrested on charges of perjury and child stealing.
The motive behind this shocking incident remains unknown, and the police are currently conducting ongoing investigations. Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, the Limpopo Provincial Commissioner, commended the Investigation Team for their dedication and relentless efforts in unraveling the truth surrounding the baby's disappearance. The baby has been returned to her mother, and the case will proceed to the Thohoyandou Magistrates Court for further legal proceedings.