Here is the full statement issued on Sunday by the Office of the Acting National Commissioner of the South African Police Service‚ Lt Gen Khomotso Phahlane on the #BabySiwaphiwe ‘kidnapping’:
The South African Police Service supported by law enforcement officers and scores of concerned community members‚ spent well over 24 hours searching for baby Siwaphiwe Mbambo who was reportedly snatched during a carjacking on Friday midday.
On Friday‚ 9 March 2017 the baby’s mother reported to the police that her TOYOTA YARIS car had been hijacked with her 1-month-old baby on the back seat when two men drove off in her car. The car was later found abandoned in Montclair with the baby and the nappy bag missing.
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. Too many inconsistencies emerged during the interviews especially 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.
Members of the SAPS and all role players involved are commended for ensuring the safe return of Baby Siwaphiwe Mbombo and the arrest of the perpetrators of serious crimes of this nature. The South African Police Service invested a lot in 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.
The diversion of policing resources by people with selfish motives cannot be tolerated at all. It is thus critical that in situations like this‚ those involved are dealt with during the processing of their cases by the courts of our country. A special prosecutor was appointed this morning to work with the SAPS on this case.
“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.
Those who have been arrested and are in custody‚ will appear in court soon.