Police have offered a R250 000 reward in a desperate appeal for the safe return of one-month-old Siwaphiwe Mbambo who was taken when her mother was hijacked at a shopping centre in Durban on Friday.
Over 100 police officers, community volunteers and sniffer dogs were out searching for the one-month-old who was in the back seat of a white Toyota Yaris wearing a nappy and a white vest.
Her mother Sibongile was held up by two armed men on Friday morning at the City View (formerly Game City) centre in Greyville. She was only able to grab her eight-year-old son before they sped off, police said in an urgent appeal to be on the lookout for the car and the baby.
The Yaris was found abandoned in Montclair, south of Durban, but little Siwaphiwe was not there.
In an interview with local radio station East Coast radio, the infant’s mother said, “I am pleading with the public to please help me find my child. And also to the suspects if they are listening wherever they are, it’s not pleasant at all”.
Marshall Security is part of the search team, and spokesperson Kyle van Reenen said police and volunteers spent Friday night and Saturday morning looking through the bushes and canals near where the car was abandoned, but with no luck.
He cautioned members of the public who are also helping to look for the baby to keep in mind that the people who took the car and the baby were armed and are considered dangerous.
If they find anything that may help the police, they should preserve the scene and call the police immediately.
In the meantime, Durbanites are rallying for the safe return of the baby on social media .
Police said that the reward of up to R250 000 would be paid to anybody able to give them information on where she is.
They can contact their nearest police station or 10111, or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.