A 45-year-old man who was identified as a sangoma (traditional healer) has been apprehended after he was found driving off with a minor he allegedly kidnapped in Welkom, Free State.
According to police, the man was found after a 33-year-old woman went to the Thabong police station to register a case of a missing person (her daughter).
Preliminary investigations, which were conducted by police together with family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit members, revealed that the one-year-nine-month child was kidnapped in a mall in Thabong on Saturday.
Video footage comes in handy
Captain Stephen Thakeng said in a video footage that was obtained from the mall, a man can be seen taking a child and driving off with her from the mall.
On Sunday, police initiated the search and visited all the gatherings of traditional healers in Thabong until they received information about Extention 15 Hani Park near Bronville in Welkom.
“The child was found safe and brought back to the parents on Sunday. A 45-year-old male was arrested for kidnapping and he will appear soon in the Welkom magistrate’s court,” said Thakeng.
Police have warned parents to always keep their children close to them, especially while busy shopping, and know their whereabouts even at their homes.
Two women arrested
Recently, two Zimbabwean women suspected to have abducted three children in South Africa were arrested in Mpumalanga.
Grace Gumbo and Mercy Tsoko were arrested on New Year’s Day following a case of abduction opened against them in December.
“They were reportedly found with three children, two baby girls and a baby boy. The two suspects were reportedly cornered in one of the shacks in Ogies,” said Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.
“There was a four-month-old girl, a baby boy who is believed to be three years old, and another eight-month-old baby girl.
“The boy child was abducted at Marble Hall in April 2023 and the eight-month-old is believed to have been abducted at Springs in September 2023 allegedly by the two women.”