Mitchells Plain su­per­cop to the res­cue of snatched in­fant

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - LYNNETTE JOHNS

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”.

PIC­TURE: TRACY ADAMS

DED­I­CATED: In­spec­tor Charles Julies of the Mitchells Plain miss­ing per­sons unit.

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