Durban police have offered a reward of up to R250 000 for information on the whereabouts of baby Siwaphiwe‚ who was abducted during an apparent hijacking on Friday before midday.
In a statement on Saturday morning‚ SAPS said: “A reward of up to R250 000 is offered to anyone who may provide with information that will lead to the recovery of the baby and the arrest and conviction of the suspects. More than 100 police officers‚ assisted by community and other roleplayers‚ are deployed now to search for the baby.”
Earlier‚ SAPS promised to scour all areas of the city as they try to find missing one-month-old Siwaphiwe.
The little girl was taken in an apparent hijacking near a shopping centre in Greyville at about noon on Friday.
Her mom‚ Sibongile Mbambo‚ and her 8-year-old brother were in their car when two armed men approached them. Mbambo and the young boy were forced out of the car‚ and the men sped off with Siwaphiwe still strapped into her car seat.
The vehicle was recovered later that afternoon‚ but the girl was not in it. Police and community members have been frantically searching for Siwaphiwe ever since.
SAPS spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said on Saturday morning that officers would not rest until they found the one-month-old.
“The search will continue. The baby is still missing. We will look all over the greater Durban area because we don’t know where the baby was taken or dropped off‚” he said.
Rescue Care paramedics’ Garrith Jamieson‚ who was joining the effort‚ said “multiple teams” were hitting different areas throughout the day‚ as emergency services collaborate to try to find Siwaphiwe. Some had gathered at the Cato Manor sports grounds‚ which will be used as a makeshift base for search operations in the bushy area.
Zwane added that police were busy trying to establish the exact route the vehicle took from Greyville to Montclair‚ where the car was dumped‚ to see what information could be gleaned.
He said he couldn’t comment on reports that one of the theories being probed was that the baby was the target‚ not the car.
“At this stage we can’t say that; not until we find the baby‚” said Zwane.
– TMG Digital/TimesLIVE