'Hijack' case: court lashes dad for late arrival
Baby Siwaphiwe Mbambo's biological father, Phumlani Mbokazi, was threatened with jail after his late arrival at court yesterday.
The baby's mother, S'bongile Mbambo, and Mbokazi, her lover, are facing charges of fraud and defeating the ends of justice.
The pair were arrested after they allegedly misled police into carrying out a massive two-day search for one-month-old Siwaphiwe after a "hijacking" in March that had people around the country praying for the safe return of the baby.
The Times revealed, however, that a secret love affair lay at the heart of the baby's abduction, which culminated in a car chase and Siwaphiwe being found with her kidnappers.
Magistrate Anand Maharaj, who was forced to stand the matter down when Mbokazi failed to arrive on time, registered his distaste when he finally showed up.
"You are late. Your bail conditions stipulate that you must be at court at 8.30am. Tell me now why I shouldn't take your bail away and hold you in custody," he said.
"It doesn't take you an hour and a half to get to court from your home. It is no problem for me to keep you in custody."
Mbokazi scrambled to explain that a car accident on his way to court was the reason for his delay.
Mbambo is expected to enter a plea when the case is back in court on December 13.