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South Africa: Baby Abduction In Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital Raises Security Concerns

The family of a Soweto woman whose newborn baby was reportedly  abducted at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital this week said they are waiting for her to be discharged before taking further action against the hospital.

The baby was stolen during visiting hours between 2pm and 3pm on Thursday by a woman who has not yet been named.

The woman’s uncle said while they were happy the child had been found, they were still waiting to be told exactly what had happened.

“They called us to the hospital to come see the baby and told us that the baby was okay and was in no way harmed. We thought after that they would sit us down and explain the finer details of what really happened,” Nqobi Hlatshwayo said.

Hlatshwayo said they were still waiting for the mother to be discharged so they can discuss the action to be taken.

“Right now, we are waiting for her to get better and be discharged. Once that happens we will have a family meeting to discuss the way forward,” he said.

On Friday, newly appointed Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku addressed the media at the facility, admitting, to a “security lapse” that led to the baby being stolen. He called the kidnapping a “premeditated process”.

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Masuku spoke after the baby was reunited with the mother on Friday after a DNA test was undertaken to prove she was the mother. The identities of the baby and mother have not been released.

The incident has sparked security concerns at the facility.

“There was a security lapse which is something as a hospital we have to look at and also with the other hospitals around Gauteng,” Masuka said.

The MEC said there was a need to strengthen security systems and checks and that it was difficult to monitor every person during visiting hours.

“We also want to indicate that the system that we have in the hospital helped us because we had CCTV footage which we used to positively identify the suspect to see how premeditated the whole process was.”

Gauteng police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said the baby was found at a house in Diepkloof following information from a member of the public.

A 35-year-old woman has been arrested.

According to the MEC, the woman posed as the mother-in-law of the patient before snatching the baby.



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