Wed. Nov 20th, 2019

Security questions raised after newborn abducted at Baragwanath Hospital

newborn baragwanathLuckily, the baby was found alive.

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Gauteng police have zoned in on the security department that operates at the antenatal ward of Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital after a woman easily slipped through their hands with a newborn baby.

As reported by IOL News, investigators have been questioning the security guard that allegedly allowed an unidentified woman to leave the antenatal section of the hospital with a baby, wrapped up in a purple blanket, without conducting a search to ensure that she was the mother of the child.

How did the woman abduct the baby at Baragwanath Hospital?

According to Gauteng police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini, the woman, believed to be in her 30s, entered the antenatal ward during daytime visiting hours, which run from 14:00 until 15:00.

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Based on CCTV footage that has been obtained, the woman was seen wandering around the ward aimlessly, until she reappeared at the entrance holding a baby in a purple blanket.

Lesemang Matuka from the Gauteng Department of Health noted that in the footage, the security guard on post had been conducting regular searches before the woman showed up.

However, strangely, when she went past the guard with a baby in her arms, she was allowed to stroll past without a single eye batted on her.

“What is suspicious is that CCTV cameras later show her walk past a security guard who just let her and the baby pass without searching her. This is despite the fact that the security guard had searched those that came before and after her,” Matuka said.

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Baby found alive in Diepsloot

Dlamini confirmed that the security guard was questioned but could not be placed under arrest since there was no evidence, as yet, to tie her as a co-conspirator in the abduction.

Acting on a tip, the police were led to a house in the nearby township of Diepsloot, where they found the newborn baby alive.

The baby was safely returned to the hospital to undergo medical checks, while the woman that was found in the house has been held for questioning.

According to Dlamini, investigators need to consult the CCTV footage to ascertain whether she, indeed, is the suspect they have been looking for.

Dr Bandile Masuku from the Department of Health in Gauteng expressed his disappointment with the lacklustre security detail in hospitals — especially in areas as vulnerable as infantry wards.

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“I am disappointed with what is appearing to be the lapse in physical security and we will leave no stone unturned in seeking answers to this.

“The case has already been opened with the Diepkloof police station and the CCTV footage will be handed to them. I have also met with the mother and her family and counselling will be offered,” Masuku revealed.

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