Two Zimbabwean women, Grace Gumbo (26) and Mercy Tsoko (28), appeared for the second time at the Kriel Magistrates’ Court in Nelspruit, facing charges of child abduction and violating South Africa’s Immigration Act.
Accused of posing as caregivers, Gumbo and Tsoko allegedly deceived community members, leading to the abduction of children from their parents in the area.
Prompt police action followed the abduction of a four-month-old baby girl from Thubelihle in Kriel. Acting on a tip-off about the presence of the two women in Ogies, the police arrested them, rescuing the abducted infant unharmed. During the operation, two additional children – an eight-month-old girl and a three-year-old boy – were discovered.
The arrest occurred in a shack in Ogies, where it was revealed that the two women had allegedly abducted the three-year-old boy in Marble Hall in April 2023 and the eight-month-old girl in Springs in September 2023.
Police spokesperson Selvy Mohlala stated that investigations are ongoing to determine if the women committed similar offenses in other areas. Authorities are urging the public to assist in locating the families of the eight-month-old girl and three-year-old boy, encouraging concerned parents to contact the Kriel Police Station.
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