Siya Mlambo (a 14-month-old Soweto baby) was stolen on Tuesday night in what seemed to have been a house robbery in Protea Glen.
Late on Wednesday, the baby’s anxious parents, Mandisa Mlambo and her partner Thabo, were still searching for him.
Mandisa’s account of the nightmare had led police officers to suspect her lover’s ex-girlfriend was behind the attack.
Mandisa said the men stormed into her house at about 8.30pm on Tuesday.
“I arrived back from work to find two suspicious men in the yard. They dragged me inside the house, where my nanny, my baby and another five-year-old baby sat.
“We were tied up tightly with cloth, and as I sat close to my child, one suspect continuously told me that my actions were the reason for all that was happening to me.”
One of the robbers took off with the nanny in Mandisa’s vehicle, while the other remained at the house.
He took Mandisa’s bank card and withdrew an undisclosed amount of cash from her account.
Shocked and confused, she asked him what he meant by his comments about the motive for the attack.
“He said to me that my relationship with Thabo has made his sister suicidal, and for that I should pay. He told me that my baby or I should die for this.”
Mandisa said she pleaded with the man to spare her baby’s life and take hers instead. He ignored her.
When the robber returned to the house with the nanny and the cash, they packed Siya’s clothing into a bag, then grabbed some of Mandisa’s clothing, two tablets, her cellphone and her baby. By then, several hours had passed.
A neighbour said she found it strange when Mandisa changed her usual routine.
“She always greets when she comes home from work by yelling. But on Tuesday night, I heard the gate open several times but never heard her greet. At about 4.50am, Mandisa knocked at our door. She was hysterical and told me that thieves came to break in the house and took Siya.”
“Her state (of mind) puzzled me, I kept asking her what she meant. Only when I saw a bruise on her left hand did I realise the severity of what she was trying to say.
“As a parent of a newborn baby, I’m saddened by this and pray for the return of the boy,” the neighbour said.
On Wednesday, police were combing the scene for evidence.
Officials from Child Welfare were also there to offer support.
Mandisa, who appeared calm and composed, said she had heard about an ex-girlfriend who wasn’t happy about her pregnancy.
“I don’t know the lady, have never met her, but heard of an ex who was not happy that I was carrying Thabo’s baby,” she said.
No one had been arrested at the time of publication.
Police have appealed to anyone who has information to come forward. They can contact Colonel Van Wyk at 082 308 7487.