Siph­e­sihle’s an overnight celebrity

Delft queues to see re­turned baby

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - BIANCA CAPAZORIO and VUYO MABANDLA

SAFE in his mother’s arms, baby Siph­e­sihle Ncumani has be­come a bit of an overnight celebrity in his new neigh­bour­hood of Delft.

Neigh­bours and me­dia queue up to catch a glimpse of the lit­tle boy, who was re­turned to his mother on Thurs­day af­ter be­ing snatched from Tyger­berg Hospi­tal.

Siph­e­sihle, who is now about six weeks old, was to­tally obliv­i­ous to all the at­ten­tion he was get­ting yes­ter­day, and slept soundly in his mother Zimkitha Ncumani’s ar ms, wak­ing only when she and a fam­ily mem­ber put a “lit­tle cow is hun­gry” bib on him.

Siph­e­sihle was snatched from Tyger­berg Hospi­tal when he was only two weeks old. His mother had slipped into a coma and when she awoke, was told the news that her baby had been stolen.

Four weeks later, Ncumani has slipped into the role of dot­ing mother ef­fort­lessly, fuss­ing gen­tly over her baby and smil­ing shyly when talk­ing about their re­union which took place on Thurs­day.

There has been some con­fu­sion about the baby’s name, with some re­ports say­ing that he had been called Si­mamkele, mean­ing Wel­come. Ncumani yes­ter­day con­firmed that he will be called Siph­e­sihle, mean­ing won­der­ful gift.

His of­fi­cial nam­ing cer­e­mony, where he will be pre­sented to the an­ces­tors, has not yet taken place.

“I couldn’t sleep last night, I was too ex­cited” she said.

“Vis­i­tors had streamed into the house on Thurs­day night when Ncumani re­turned home with her baby.

The small Delft house in which she lives even­tu­ally emp­tied out at about 8pm and then Siph­e­sihle “slept soundly”.

Ncumani said she had recog­nised the baby as hers and the first thing she had done when she saw him was “kiss him on his fore­head and thank the Lord that I got him back”.

Ncumani’s house was crowded with women and chil­dren yes­ter­day, all peer­ing into the folds of a blue blan­ket to get a look at the baby in­side.

Po­lice ar­rested a woman on Tues­day in con­nec­tion with the kid­nap­ping. Bulelwa Xeza ap­peared in the Belville Mag­is­trate’s Court yes­ter­day, but her case was post­poned to Septem­ber 3.

De­spite the happy end­ing, Ncumani and her fam­ily are still an­gry about the way they were treated by au­thor­i­ties dur­ing the search for the boy. They la­belled the po­lice as “un­car­ing and un­feel­ing” for ap­par­ently ini­tially sus­pect­ing the baby’s fa­ther for his dis­ap­pear­ance.

PIC­TURE: CINDY WAXA

HOME SAFE: Zimkhita Ncumani feeds her baby Siph­e­sihle. They were re­united this week af­ter he went miss­ing a month ago af­ter be­ing ab­ducted from Tyger­berg Hospi­tal.

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