By Yolandé Stander
A PORT Elizabeth mother’s heartbreak turned to absolute joy when she was reunited on Friday March 23 with her baby boy who was abducted from Dora Nginza Hospital almost a month ago.
DNA results were released by the Eastern Cape health department proving that the baby – who was handed over to a New Brighton resident by two women a month ago – was indeed Dianne Wabanie’s son Xavier.
Wabanie’s nightmare began when her three-day-old child was abducted by a woman claiming to be one of the hospital’s student nurses on February 29. “I couldn’t believe what had happened to me. I searched that hospital and couldn’t find my baby. For a month I couldn’t sleep. I had nightmares all this time. You cannot explain this pain to anyone,” Wabanie said at Dora Nginza’s paediatric unit on Friday.
However she said she always knew in her heart she would somehow be reunited with her little boy. “I didn’t stop praying that he would be fine. All I wanted was to take my baby home and introduce him to his brother and sisters.”
Wabanie said a hospital social worker had called her earlier yesterday to tell her the good news. “I knew it was my child… I just knew. He looks just like his five-year-old sister.”
She said the mother-child bond was immediately evident when she held him for the first time again. “He looked up at me and wanted milk. He knew I was his mommy.”
However she said the experience had changed her life and parenting style.
“I think I’m going to be overprotective with my children from now on. I’m not letting them out of my sight. I couldn’t bear it if something like this happened again.”
The woman allegedly responsible for the abduction, student nurse Sibongile Mama, 28, turned herself in at the Mount Road Police Station on March 6. Mama was released on R1000 bail and will re-appear in court on April 16.
Mama allegedly approached Wabanie and told her to wash up in the bathroom while she watched the baby. When Wabanie returned the child was gone.
This is a shortened version of an article that first appeared in the print edition of Weekend Post on Saturday March 24, 2012.