“I can’t even describe it. The moment I saw him, it was wonderful.”
These were the words of relieved Segria Pieterse after seeing her newborn grandson Sergio on Sunday.
He was abducted from Worcester Hospital on Thursday. Police subsequently arrested two women in Ashton on Sunday before returning the boy to the hospital.
Pieterse, 53, said it all happened so quickly. The family had been praying for his safe return.
Recalling the day he was snatched, Pieterse said a young woman in the ward had introduced herself to her (Pieterse’s) son and daughter-in-law as Stephanie, from Ashton.
“She said she loves the baby because he is very beautiful. She kept on staring at him,” the granny said in Afrikaans.
Her son left the hospital around 20:00. It was then that the woman apparently asked her daughter-in-law it if it was possible to take the baby to show him to her mother across the way.
He was gone
“She told her no she can’t. Everything happened so quick. The baby was there and the next moment he was gone.”
Pieterse said she saw the woman for the first time on video footage shown to her on Sunday.
“I don’t know why she did it. Maybe something happened in the past with her. Nobody knows. But you can’t take something that doesn’t belong to you.”
The accused women, aged 17 and 49, were expected to make their first appearance in the Worcester Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Western Cape social development MEC Albert Fritz congratulated the police on their sterling work in finding the baby boy.
He said the department was working with police, especially because one of the suspects was a minor and subject to the Child Justice Act of 2008.
The newborn had been returned to the care of the hospital for ongoing medical observation.
Once discharged, social workers from the department’s Cape Winelands office would help the family with counselling and other services.