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Child abduction-accused Zimbabwean women seek legal representation

by Staff reporter
12 Jan 2024 at 05:04hrs | Views
THE case of two Zimbabwean women who were recently arrested in South Africa's Mpumalanga for allegedly abducting three children including a four-month-old infant in the Kriel area has been postponed to January 20 to allow them to seek legal representation.

The National Prosecuting Authority in that country says it also wants to establish the immigration status of the accused in South Africa.

Grace Gumbo (26) and Mercy Tsoko (28) are set to stand trial at the Kriel Magistrate's Court on charges of child abduction and contravention of the Immigration Act of South Africa.

Mpumalanga division spokesperson for the NPA, Ms Monica Nysa, told the media that State intends to oppose bail on their next court appearance due to the seriousness of the offense.

Gumbo and Tsoko are accused of having committed the offense in Thubelihle in the Kriel area on December 28 last year. According to the provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, the suspects were arrested on New Year's Day.

"They were arrested on Monday 01 January 2024 and it is in fact alleged that they abducted a total of three children, including the baby girl abducted on that Thursday (28 December 2023)," he said.

"Police got a tip-off from community members about the two women who were pretending to be caregivers that and were roaming around Ogies with three babies.

"The police in Kriel swiftly responded to the information and managed to arrest the two female suspects and reportedly found them with three children, two baby girls as well as one baby boy."

Brig Mohlala said the two were cornered in one of the shacks in Ogies.

He said it was discovered that, besides the four-month-old girl, there was a baby boy who is believed to be three years old and it is suspected that the child was also abducted at Marble Hall in April 2023.

Another baby girl believed to be eight months old was found during the arrest of the two. This child is believed to have been abducted at Springs in September 2023 allegedly by the two women.

"The two female suspects were charged with abduction as well as contravention of the Immigration Act of South Africa. Police cannot rule out the possibility of adding more charges against them as the investigation continues," said Brig Mohlala.

Source - The Chronicle