It was an emotional moment to behold when an Mpumalanga mother reunited with her lost daughter 20 years after she was abducted from her.
In her words, she said: “I never lost hope that I would find her one day,”
The young woman identified as Sbahle Sithole, now 36, told newsmen that she was grateful to find her daughter and for everything that the family who raised her had done for her. However, she said, “To the woman that took her: You have hurt me a lot.
“I will never forgive you … Never … Not after all the sleepless nights I had and tears I shed, especially on her birthday.”
The then-teenage mother and her elder sister, who had fetched her from the hospital, had trusted the child’s abductor and accepted her assistance to hold the baby while the elder sister rushed to the shop as the pair walked to catch a taxi back home.
Because the new mom was experiencing pain and dizziness from the birthing experience she had earlier gone through, the “good Samaritan” offered to go look for her sister.
She and the baby were never seen again until last month.
The woman had fled with the baby to her home in Carolina 60km from where she had stolen her.
This stolen child, who TimesLIVE will refer to as Mfundo, was known as the only child of the couple, although there was another sibling from her father’s side.
Mfundo had no idea that elsewhere, a woman cried and prayed for her safe return, especially every year on her birthday.
I will never forgive you … Never … Not after all the sleepless nights I had and tears I shed, especially on her birthday.
Last month, Sithole’s 19-year-old son was scrolling through Facebook when on the “people you may know” option, a picture of a young woman who he believed looked a lot like his mother popped up.
The uncanny resemblance bothered him so much that he took the picture to his grandmother who shared with him that she believed this was his long-lost sister.
He sent her a friend request — which she did not accept — but in the meantime, his mother and grandmother headed to the Ermelo police station where 20 years ago, they had opened a missing person’s case for the stolen child.
Armed with pictures that they had taken from Facebook and a clinic card that was signed at the hospital on the day Mfundo was born, they relayed to officers that this was the daughter they believed they had lost.
“My mom had taken one look at the picture and said she believed that was my daughter because of how much she looked like me,” said Sithole, as she and her son scrolled through the pictures.
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