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Monday, 20 October 2008

Cops 'steal' baby at OR Tambo

Amanda Roestoff, Beeld

Fochville - A mother from this mining town in North West is incensed because two uniformed policewomen "stole" her five-month-old baby to teach her a lesson.

One moment baby Abbegail de Jager was lying in her carrycot in a luggage trolley at OR Tambo International airport, but "within the space of a minute she was gone", said her mother, Janelize Botha, 20, on Wednesday.

On Wednesday at about 12:00, Janelize and her mother, Jeanette Botha, 41, were at the airport to see off her brother, Hennie Botha, 24. He was returning to England where he works

The Bothas were paying for their parking ticket when the machine malfunctioned.

"She was in the trolley next to me. I just wanted to help my mom to press the right button to get assistance. When I turned back, she was gone," Janelize said.

"In that moment, we were completely overcome with panic," said her mother.

Yelling hysterically, the women started looking for the baby. A policewoman emerged from behind a pillar "with a broad smile on her face". She started shouting at the two women, telling them to "Stop it! Stop it!".

A second policewoman came up to Janelize and gave Abbegail back to her "while she laughed" and "we cried".

After a raging argument, the policewomen told the Bothas they just wanted to teach the women a lesson because they had turned their backs to the baby.

- Beeld