A reward of R250,000 has been offered for information that could lead to the recovery of one-month-old baby, Siwaphiwe.
According to KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Lt-Col. Thulani Zwane, the frantic search for the missing baby who was taken in an apparent hijacking will continue in earnest on Saturday morning. And an attractive reward has been offered in exchange for any information that would aid the search.
“A reward of up to R250,000 is offered to anyone who may provide [police] with information that will lead to the recovery of the baby and the arrest and conviction of the suspects,” Zwane said on Saturday.
Consequently, more than 100 police officers assisted by community and other role players haven been deployed to search for the child.
The incident that led to the abduction of baby Siwaphiwe took place shortly before noon yesterday. The mom‚ Sibongile Mbambo‚ was in her car with Siwaphiwe and her 8-year-old son when two armed men approached the white Toyota Yaris in an apparent hijacking.
Mbambo and her son were forced out of the vehicle‚ leaving the baby behind. Subsequently, the hijackers fled with the baby still in the car seat. Though the vehicle was later recovered at the corner of Moodie and Donovan Roads in Montclair, baby Siwaphiwe‚ her car seat‚ her pram and her baby bag were nowhere to be found.
Arguably, baby Siwaphiwe was the target and not the vehicle. Officials involved in the search said this was one theory they are basing their investigation on.
Thus, the police have called on anyone who witnessed the hassle to report to the nearest police station with viable information.
So far, Kyle van Reenen‚ of Marshall Security‚ said that residents of the area where the car was dumped has joined in the search. They reportedly used torches and headlamps to search nearby bushes and even cemeteries in an effort to find the little girl.
“There were about 150 people‚ I would estimate‚ along with members of the police Search and Rescue Unit‚” he said.
And since baby Siwaphiwe is still missing, Saturday morning saw more people coming out to join the search party.