Child abduction cases that made headlines in SA in 2018
Three incidents of child kidnapping over three days in December outraged Gauteng community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane so much that she ordered police to establish a special task team to curb the trend.
Unfortunately, those cases were not the only ones reported in recent months.
On Tuesday, a 25-year-old woman appeared at the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on charges of kidnapping. Megan Diedericks is accused of abducting a three-year-old boy who was in the care of his grandmother. Diedericks allegedly took the child with her to buy cigarettes and did not return. The toddler was later found and the suspect arrested.
In August, a 45-year-old man faced the music at a Pinetown court after an 11-year-old girl who was reported missing was found at his home.
In another incident, also in August last year, a woman stood in the dock in the Randburg Magistrate's Court for kidnapping. She allegedly pretended to be a social worker and became friendly with the mother while she was pregnant. Ten days after the mother gave birth, the social worker impersonator made off with the baby.
KZN police were embroiled in another kidnapping investigation after a two-month-old baby was taken from her home in Umzinto in August 2018.
The baby's mother claimed she offered a homeless woman shelter. The guest said she was not feeling well. The unsuspecting mother went to a nearby store to buy medication, leaving her baby with the supposedly ill guest. When the mother returned home, the patient had disappeared with the baby.
In May 2018, kidnappers demanded R6m for the safe return of 13-month-old baby Eden. Two suspects were arrested at the money drop-off point. They led police to three more people implicated in the crime. One of the suspects is the domestic worker who cared for the child. To the relief of her family, the baby was found in good health.