Court proceedings halted for paternity test in baby Siwaphiwe hijacking case
The man charged with the abduction of baby Siwaphiwe is hoping a paternity test will get him off a charge of kidnapping. Court proceedings were adjourned yesterday so the man charged with Siwaphiwe’s kidnapping could undergo a DNA test. The man claims the test will show he is the biological father of the one-month-old girl kidnapped in what police say was a staged hijacking in Durban on Friday.
The abduction led to a massive police operation involving officers‚ vehicles and even aircraft.
The man‚ 26‚ and the baby’s mother‚ a primary school teacher‚ 35‚ appeared briefly before magistrate Mahomed Motala in the Durban Magistrate’s Court yesterday on charges of defeating the ends of justice and kidnapping.
The baby‚ who has been given a clean bill of health‚ is being cared for by social workers at a Durban place of safety.
The man’s lawyer, Andile Dakela, told the court that by consent with prosecutor Nkosingiphile Manqele‚ his client would surrender DNA samples for a paternity test.
Motala postponed the matter to tomorrow for the results of the test.
Speaking outside the courthouse later, Dakela said: “We need to determine who the father of the child is.
“My client believes the child is a product of his relationship with the mother and, if he is the father, he cannot have kidnapped his own child. That charge will fall away.”
Dakela said his client also believed strongly that baby Siwaphiwe’s life was in danger‚ but did not elaborate.
The mother’s husband‚ refused to comment on the DNA testing, rebuffing journalists outside court before lashing out at a cameraman.
The mother initially told police she and her eight-year-old son had been forced out of their white Toyota Yaris at gunpoint by two hijackers near the City View shopping centre in Greyville.
Sources claim a break in the case came when the mother‚ under intense questioning by detectives‚ revealed her secret affair.
Armed with the identity of her lover‚ detectives began a search and eventually closed in on him as he was returning to Durban with the baby at about midnight on Saturday.
After a high-speed chase near the Marianhill toll plaza‚ he was arrested and a wailing Siwaphiwe was recovered from the vehicle.
Also in the vehicle was his girlfriend‚ who was detained but has not been charged.
The principal of the school the mother teaches at said yesterday staff at the school were shocked to learn about the incident.
“We were not privileged to know about the incident and we only got to know about the allegations like everyone else in South Africa. We were shocked because she is a good woman and a dedicated teacher.”
The principal said the mother was a foundation phase teacher at the school and was on maternity leave at the time of the incident.
“I have submitted a report to our Circuit, but we have been warned not to comment on this matter because it’s personal and has nothing to do with her professional life as a teacher‚” he said.
The allerged kidnapper’s family refused to comment on the case. – TMG Digital/The Times