A pupil accused of posing as a social worker and kidnapping a baby twin is sticking to her alibi that she had an isiXhosa lesson at school at the time of the reported abduction, the Bellville Magistrate’s Court heard during her bail application
The lawyer for 18-year-old Karabo Tau is so sure that his client is innocent that he told the court he had obtained a letter from her teacher and CCTV footage to prove this.
Sulaiman Chottia also asked baby Kwahlelwa’s mother, Asanda Tiwane, which social welfare office the woman, who took her baby, claimed she was from.
“She never told me. I never asked,” said Tiwane. “I never thought of it your worship.”
Tau’s family insists that she is innocent, and an Instagram page called “FreeKarabo” has been set up to garner support for her.
The court was packed for the bail hearing on Tuesday, with Tiwane speaking softly through an interpreter.
She said that the woman who came to her had been going from door-to-door in the area, wearing a skirt, black top, and large head wrap. On the day her child was taken, 16 January, the woman also wore sunglasses.
Asked what she would do if a witness testified that Tau was actually at school and could not have taken the baby, Tiwane said simply: “There is nothing that I will do your worship, but what I know is that she took my child.”
Pressed on Tau’s alibi, she said: “I just want my child.”
Tiwane was taken to task for initially making a mistake with the date of her child’s disappearance but said although she had mixed the date up, it was very definitely a Thursday that her child was taken.
The bail application was adjourned to 4 February, and Tau will remain in custody.
At the next session, Tau’s lawyer intends bringing her mother to testify as well as witnesses who can authenticate a letter and CCTV footage that he believes will prove she was at school at the time of the incident.
The bail application for the second accused, 22-year-old Ely Kibunda, is expected to be heard on Monday.
Neither of the accused has formally pleaded yet.
Kwahlelwa, who has a two-year-old brother, was reportedly kidnapped in Parow.
The police issued a statement saying that a child had gone missing after a woman who claimed to be a social worker asked for the baby’s birth certificate and clinic card. There were promises of food and financial assistance.
“The suspect returned the next day and accompanied the mother and children in a taxi to Parow, where she told the mother her office was.
“Once the vehicle stopped at the alleged office, the woman got out with one of the twins and fled.”