Woman in court for kidnapping newborn baby


A 21-year-old woman who was arrested for kidnapping a newborn baby in Kimberley appeared in the regional court in the city on Tuesday.

Mojalefa Senokoatsane, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Northern Cape, says the woman has been formally charged in court for kidnapping a child.

“The case has been postponed until next Tuesday when the accused can formally apply for bail in the Magistrate’s Court in Kimberley,” confirms Senokoatsane.

“The accused remains in custody until then and the police’s investigation continues.”

The four-day-old baby disappeared from her crib in the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital (RMSH) in Kimberley last Wednesday (September 6). She was located two days later (Friday) and found unharmed.

RNews reported earlier that Natasha Japhta (26) was apparently busy in the hospital with the last administration before she was to be discharged. According to her, she told staff in the ward that she was leaving her little daughter, Lezaane, in her cot first. When she returned, only the baby girl’s blankets were lying in the bed. The child was without a trace.

Japhta says a woman who aroused suspicion, and who she occasionally noticed at the hall, popped up in her memory. This woman apparently often sat in the waiting room in front of the K3 hall where Lezaane disappeared. She was apparently wearing a pink dressing gown and her face was covered. The woman apparently had a miscarriage earlier. After Lezaane’s disappearance, the dressing gown was apparently found under one of the machines at the front of the hall.

The case was reported to the police and the accused was arrested on Friday. Lezaane was found at her home in Greenpoint in Kimberley.

It is unclear whether this woman is the same person who noticed Japhta earlier in the hospital.