Baby Siwaphiwe found unharmed, three arrested

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Pretoria - Three people, including the biological mother of baby Siwaphiwe Mbambo, have been arrested by the police after the one-month-old was rescued unharmed during a roadblock in Marianhill in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A photo of missing baby Siwaphiwe, who was reportedly snatched during a carjacking on Friday, went viral on social media as concerned South Africans shared the photo in the hopes of someone spotting her.

On Friday, the baby’s mother reported to the police that her Toyota Yaris had been hijacked by two men with her one-month-old baby on the back seat. The car was later found abandoned in Montclair with the baby and the nappy bag missing.

The police, supported by law enforcement officers and scores of concerned community members, spent well over 24 hours searching for baby Siwaphiwe.

“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 one-month-old baby.

“The search was intensified and further interviews were conducted with persons of interest,” said the police.

The police said many inconsistencies emerged during the interviews 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 Marianhill 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,” the police said.

Members of the SAPS and all role players involved in the search have been commended for ensuring the safe return of baby Siwaphiwe and the arrest of the perpetrators of serious crimes of this nature.

“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,” said Acting National Commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane.

The police said much was invested 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.

Those who have been arrested will appear in court soon. –

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