Health MEC Masuku: Baby kidnapping at Bara Hospital highlights holes in security

The baby girl was snatched from her sleeping mother during visiting hours on Thursday by a woman who claimed to be the grandmother.

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku visiting the Mamelodi Hospital to meet the hospital management following reports of 76-year-old Martha Marais being ill-treated. Picture: Gauteng Health Department/Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku said the recent kidnapping of a newborn baby at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital highlighted that security needs to be urgently strengthened at health facilities in the province.

The baby girl was snatched from her sleeping mother during visiting hours on Thursday by a woman who claimed to be the grandmother.

The infant was found at a house in Diepkloof on Friday unharmed and has been reunited with her family.

A 35-year-old woman has since been taken in for questioning.

Police suspect those behind the kidnapping of the newborn hospital may be part of a syndicate.

It was understood the woman taken into custody by police on Frida was not the one seen on CCTV footage leaving with the infant after claiming to be the baby's grandmother.

Masuku said this pointed to holes in the Health Department's security measures, especially at maternity wards.

“It just means that we need to strengthen our security system and our security tracks to make sure that this incident doesn’t happen here or anywhere else.”

Authorities said they hoped the 35-year-old woman who has been taken in for questioning after being found with the baby would lead them to a suspected syndicate.