Mitchells Plain supercop to the rescue of snatched infant
IT WAS a tip-off and speedy work that lead Mitchells Plain police inspector Charles Julies to Mfuleni where baby Siphesihle Ncumani was kept after being snatched.
Had Julies put it off until the next day, Bulelwa Xeza, the woman accused of taking little Siphesihle from a ward at Tygerberg Hospital, would have left for the Eastern Cape.
While the reasons for taking the baby will only be revealed in court, the Weekend Argus understands the young woman had a miscarriage in April and had been treated in the same ward where Siphesihle was being kept while his mother, Zimkhita Ncumeni, was in a coma in another ward.
Siphesihle had been well cared for and loved.
It is understood Xeza told her neighbours the baby was a girl and had dressed Siphesihle that way but his true gender was discovered when one of the neighbours changed him.
Yesterday Julies, who has gar nered the reputation of being a supercop in Mitchells Plain, came in for high praise from his boss, Director Jeremy Veary.
For the past four years Julies has worked tirelessly to locate missing people. He and his team boast an almost 100 percent success rate. The blight on their record, and one that still hurts, is that of little Anastacia Wiese, 11, who was found dead in the roof of her Woodlands house in 2007. She had been raped and killed by her mother’s boyfriend.
On Tuesday night Julies was trying to locate an elderly man with Alzheimer’s when a call crackled over the airwaves. The control room needed a policeman to meet a woman who had information about a missing baby.
“This was about finding an old man or a baby, it was a difficult decision, but I told the old man’s family to continue distributing pamphlets.”
Julies met the woman at her house in Mitchells Plain. After hesitation she told him she knew of a woman who suddenly had a baby. She put him in touch with a Khayelitsha woman who could help out.
Julies called for back-up and raced off to Khayelitsha to pick up the second woman. From there they went to Mfuleni.
He and his team confronted the suspect, who at first denied the allegations, but later allegedly conceded it was not her baby as she did not have a birth certificate or a clinic card.
Police sources said yesterday Xeza was planning to leave for the Easter n Cape on Wednesday morning.
Veary said yesterday had Julies not acted immediately hopes of finding Siphesihle would have faded.
“Even though it was late he was prepared to do all that work. Even though it was out of the Mitchells Plain jurisdiction, and being handled by other police investigators.”
Veary said it was important to be able to cut through bureaucratic red tape, especially when it came to missing children. He said there was no law that said police officers were bound by jurisdiction.
“If he had not acted we would not have found the baby. Julies is a dedicated police officer with a 99.9% track record in finding missing people. He works well with the sectors and street committees,” Veary said.
Subordinate, Rasool Hildebrand, who has worked with Julies for four years, said: “When someone goes missing he leaves everything else and that person is his priority.
Hildebrand said Julies was an “amazing and dedicated man and policeman”.
DEDICATED: Inspector Charles Julies of the Mitchells Plain missing persons unit.