A 17-year-old girl is expected to appear in the Mokopane Magistrate’s Court again next week to apply for bail after she and her 23-year-old boyfriend were arrested on Saturday in connection with the case of a six-month-old baby being stolen at a shopping centre in Mokopane last month.
Provincial Police Spokesperson Moatshe Ngoepe indicated that the two suspects already appeared in the local magistrate’s court on Monday. The girl was remanded in custody until her next appearance while the case against her boyfriend was provisionally withdrawn pending further Police investigations.
Ngoepe said that the two was arrested at Ga-Mphela village during a sting operation conducted by a high-level task team led by Deputy Provincial Police Commissioner responsible for crime detection, Samuel Manala.
The baby, who was positively identified by his mother, was found unharmed in the suspects’ possession. Further DNA tests will be conducted to confirm the baby’s identity.
The arrest follows an incident where a 24-year-old mother having her baby with her allegedly met an unknown woman while shopping in Mokopane. The mother bought food and invited the woman to join her but she opted to hold the baby instead.
Once done eating they walked to another shopping centre with the stranger still carrying the baby. Without the mother noticing the suspect somehow disappeared with the infant.
In another case Police in Polokwane are still searching for the mother who allegedly abandoned her baby in the restroom of a fast food outlet in the city centre last weekend.
A customer at the outlet allegedly went to the restroom and found the baby placed on the floor wrapped in a blanket. She instantly alerted employees of the outlet who subsequently summoned the Police.
Ngoepe indicated that Police immediately took the baby who was allegedly only a few days old to a local hospital where he is recuperating. The motive behind this incident is still unknown. A case of child neglect was opened while the search for the mother continues. Ngoepe on Tuesday confirmed that no arrest had been made yet.
Story: RC Myburgh