A vigilant Durban nurse foiled the attempted abduction of newborn babies and their mothers by two men posing as Home Affairs staff, reports The Times. KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said the attempted abduction had taken place at Durban’s Addington Hospital on Saturday‚ 22 September. Dhlomo heaped praise on the nurse who foiled the attempt by the two men.
According to the report, the men were wearing Home Affairs departmental name tags which allowed them to gain access into Addington’s maternity ward and told nursing staff that they were collecting mothers and their newborn babies.
The men said that this was being done to help the mothers register for the babies’ birth certificates as part of government’s campaign to register all births within the first 30 days. However‚ the nursing sister in charge of the hospital at the time refused to release the mothers and their babies‚ and the men left shortly afterwards.
Dhlomo described the incident as “shocking and extremely concerning”. “We are really taken aback. This has all the makings of attempted human trafficking. As the Health Department we have a partnership with the Home Affairs Department whereby we run an online birth certificate registration system. This system ensures that all children who are born at major hospitals that are designated for specialised maternal and child care‚ such as Addington‚ leave the hospital with a birth certificate. In fact‚ this programme was launched by the minister of home affairs at Addington Hospital in 2014. So‚ we are saying that mothers don’t need anyone to help them in this regard.
“We are therefore extremely grateful to the sister in charge who was vigilant and listened to her instinct‚ and decided not to release the mothers and their babies.
“It is reprehensible that people would go to such lengths as to reproduce departmental name tags and try to commit something so heinous. The pain and suffering that could have resulted from this is unimaginable.
“We are urging all security personnel‚ nursing staff and mothers themselves at all our healthcare facilities to be extra vigilant because it is clear that there are unscrupulous people who are out to cause mayhem.”
The KZN Health is quoted in the report as saying that the relevant authorities were notified of this attempted abduction.The Times report