Pretoria – Emotional scenes played out at the high court in Pretoria as an advocate broke down while reading a letter to the judge by his client, who snatched a 3-month-old baby from her mother’s back and later hid 10 packets of the drug Cat in the baby’s nappy.
Jabulile Masombuka, 23, wiped tears from her face as her advocate Matlemolla Mohlahlo read out a letter she wrote in prison, in which she asked the baby’s mother for forgiveness.
The advocate also became so emotional from what he was reading, that the court had to adjourn for the tearful man to compose himself.
Masombuka said her Nigerian drug-dealer boyfriend and co-accused Kingsley Nnadi, 33, told her to kidnap a baby. He was also the one who told her to hide the drugs from the police during a raid at their Brakpan home, she claimed.
On Friday, Masombuka pleaded guilty to a charge of abduction and another charge of the possession of drugs. She was convicted on both charges and will be sentenced on Wednesday.
She said in her explanation of plea that while she already had one child with another man, her boyfriend wanted a child from her.
She had a hysterectomy after she contracted cancer and she could not conceive. She had another child which was taken care of by her grandmother. “My boyfriend argued with me because I could not give him a child. He told me we had to kidnap a baby as it was faster and he gave me R4 000 to get the services of someone to assist. He said he would tell his friend Thapelo Mthapo – also an accused in this case – to help.”
Masombuka, Mthapo and another friend, who has died, set out on January 30, 2014, to the streets of Brakpan. They parked their car along the road and waited for a victim.
The mother of the abducted baby girl came past, with a child on her back. They were on their way to church. The two men tried to drag her into the car, but she resisted and fell to the ground. They snatched the baby from her back and sped away.
A month later the metro police in Brakpan planned a raid on the house where Masombuka stayed with her boyfriend. He was in police custody at the time and phoned her from the cells. “He told me to remove the drugs, as he heard the police were coming to search our home. I was a bit late because as I was trying to remove the drugs, the police arrived. I tried to hide the drugs on the baby’s body, but I was too late.”
The court heard that the woman stuffed 10 packets of the drug Cat into the baby’s nappy, but as the police walked in, four packets fell out. Masombuka said the drugs belonged to her boyfriend, who she called a drug dealer.
The State asked the court to send her to jail for at least 10 years. Prosecutor Salome Scheepers said that if it was not for the police swooping on the house and by coincidence finding the baby, she would have never been found. Masombuka said in her letter she was terribly sorry for what she had done. “I pray to God every night that you would find it in your heart to forgive me. I cannot imagine the pain you went through while your daughter was missing; I will carry this with me for the rest of my life.”
Judge NP Mngqibisa-Thusa said it iwas a pity Masombuka did not testify and tell the court what had motivated her to do this.
Her two co-accused, who pleaded not guilty, will go on trial on October 17.