Parents harbour no hate for baby Eden's kidnappers

22 June 2018 - 11:55 By Naledi Shange
Baby feet. File photo.
Baby feet. File photo.
Image: Thinkstock

The mother of baby Eden Laird who was kidnapped‚ allegedly by the family's domestic worker and five accomplices‚ harbours no hate for those who took her child.

“Hate just isn't in our vocabulary‚” said Bronwyn Laird. “We don't want to be wasting energy over something like that because in the end‚ hate changes nothing. Love changes everything.”

She was speaking during an interview with Good Things Guy – a website dedicated to sharing good South African news‚ several weeks after Eden was found.

“Many years ago‚ we attended a church service series which was centred around the spiritual heart attack. Our pastor spoke about how hate consumed the wrong person. It's like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die‚” Laird said.

“He was telling us that we needed to let go of hate against any person because that allowed them to have control over us and control over our situation. It's really kind of stuck with us ever since then‚” she added.

The domestic worker alleged to have been part of the kidnapping ploy had worked for the family from Brackendowns‚ Alberton‚ on the East Rand‚ for a little over two years. She had worked for other family members before that.

Laird said she and her husband intended to use this incident to teach their children about the importance of not allowing other people's actions to influence who they became.

“We can't allow six individuals – five of whom we've never met – what they chose to do‚ affect how we see the world‚ how we evaluate relationships going forward and how we live our lives‚” said Laird.

After days of searching‚ a police investigation and ransom demand of R6-million‚ Eden was found in Windmill Park‚ east of Johannesburg‚ and his alleged kidnappers were arrested.

Laird acknowledged the trauma experienced when she learnt of Eden's abduction. “It pretty much felt like my heart had been taken out of my chest. The closest words to describe it would be terror and sheer panic.”

Laird‚ who works from home‚ said on the day Eden was taken‚ her domestic worker had offered to take care of him in the house while she worked from her office outside the house.

“When I came back in the house it was really quiet. [I thought it was] because he had fallen asleep. So I assumed that he was in his room like he normally is and‚ yeah‚ I got a phone call that he had been taken‚” said Laird.

The call was from the kidnappers. Days later‚ she and her son were reunited. The first thing she wanted to do was to nurse the infant‚ who was still being breastfed.

“It was like holding him for the first time all over again. It was quite lovely‚” she said.

Laird said the family was grateful for the support they received from police officers and the public.