Baragwanath Hospital abduction: Woman intends to plead guilty to snatching baby

The woman accused of kidnapping a newborn girl from Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto last week, intends to plead guilty.

This emerged in the Protea Magistrate's Court on Wednesday when Kereleng Ramoisa, 24, told the court, through her lawyer, that she decided to plead guilty to kidnapping.

"She intends to plead guilty during her next appearance. I therefore need proper instruction from the accused to prepare for her plea statement," Gift Makate submitted.

When asked to confirm this, the accused nodded her head in agreement.

The case was postponed to June 21 for a possible plea.

Ramoisa was found with the baby in Diepkloof, Soweto, 24 hours after the child was taken from the hospital.

CCTV footage, which was captured on June 6, showed another woman visiting the maternity ward. It is alleged that she told nurses that she was related to the child's mother, Bikokuhle Hlatshwayo.

She asked to take the baby outside to show family members, News24 reported. But she never returned and left the hospital with the baby, wrapped in a blanket.

Police are still looking for the woman as well as another suspect.

Outside the courtroom, Hlatshwayo's mother-in-law, Phindile Monareng demanded justice. She was the first to discover that the baby had disappeared. 

Monareng is the mother of the baby's father, Thabang Morodi.

"I was at the hospital to visit my daughter-in-law when I heard that my one and only grandchild had disappeared. My daughter-in-law was asleep after giving birth through Caesarean section when the baby disappeared. Nurses then asked me who I was because the 'grandmother' of the baby had taken the child away.

"I then demanded to view the CCTV cameras, which showed a woman carrying my grandchild, leaving the antenatal ward and putting her inside a paper bag and disappearing. I explained to nurses and security guards that I don't know the woman who took the baby away," she said.  

The hospital quickly alerted police and a case of kidnapping was opened and images of the suspect captured on CCTV were circulated.

"Yesterday, we were told by the hospital management that they have tightened security and only biological fathers are allowed to visit the antenatal ward. I want to thank everyone who alerted police when they saw [the woman] carrying a newborn baby. If it was not for them, my granddaughter would be gone forever," said Monareng.

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