Africa News

Woman in court for kidnapping 5-month-old baby in SA

A woman appeared in court yesterday for allegedly kidnapping a five-month-old baby boy in South Africa from her Zimbabwean mother and bringing him to Zimbabwe.

Janet Marimo (28) was charged with human trafficking when she appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa yesterday and was remanded in custody to December 12.

Prosecutor Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti alleged that on March 23, Marimo went to South Africa on the pretext of seeking employment. During June, while in South Africa, she approached Pauline Maganga, a Zimbabwean national who had just delivered a baby boy. She offered assistance and took the infant from the biological mother under the pretext of taking care of the infant.

Since the infant was undocumented, she was able to smuggle the baby boy from South Africa to Zimbabwe without the consent of the infant’s mother. On November 27, information was received from an informer that Marimo, who was never pregnant, recently returned from South Africa with a five months old baby boy.

Since she was not breast feeding, there was suspicion she had stolen the baby. On the same date, detectives from CID Counter Terrorism Unit reacted to the information and went to Marimo’s home and found her with the baby boy approximately 5-6 months old.

She failed to produce any document legalising her to be in custody of the infant, leading to her arrest. The baby was taken to the Department of Social Welfare for safe custody.

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