Johannesburg - A 44-year-old Lesotho national has been slapped with an eight year prison term for stealing a baby from her home country and fleeing to South Africa with the child.
Mamoshebi Priscilla Morotolihe was later tracked to Welkom, Free State where she had been living with the stolen child.
The mother was later brought from Lesotho where she positively identified the stolen baby as hers and Mototohile as the thief. Morotolihe was then arrested and charged with human trafficking.
According to Captain Christopher Singo of the Free State Hawks, the child was stolen in Lesotho in November 2019.
Singo said the mother of the baby girl had taken the then 6-week-old infant to hospital for a check up when she met Morotohile.
The two, Singo said, did not know each other and Morotohile told the mother that she had some clothes that wanted to give the baby.
"They went out together to buy some of the items and the mother gave the accused the child to hold while she entered the shop.
“When she (the mother) came out of the shop, Morotohile was nowhere to be found. ”She then ran to South Africa with the child.“
Singo said Morotohile went with the child to Welkom. Later, he said, suspicious arose that the child was not hers and police were called.
“She was questioned by the authorities and she couldn’t give details or account for the child or provide her documents
“Our investigators checked with the Lesotho government and found out that there was child who was stolen there.
“The mother of the child was called to give description of her child which the investigator found to be satisfactory. She was then brought to South Africa to confirm if the child was hers and also to identify the accused.
“An identity parade was conducted and she indeed successfully identified Morotohile as the person who stole her child. Morotohile was arrested on Thursday November 28 2019.“
The child was returned to Lesotho and Morotohile was kept in custody throughout the trial until she was slapped with an 8-year prison term last week.