Missing Thabong toddler returned home | News24

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A traditional healer was arrested after he allegedly kidnapped an 18-month-old toddler at Boitumelo Mall in Thabong on 6 January.

It was alleged that the toddler, Thato Sotsaka, her sibling, and parents were at the shopping complex when the mother, Ntshepang Sotsaka (33), went with the children to a shop in the mall and the father went to a barber.

While she was busy helping her son look for shoes, the shop assistant informed Sotsaka that her daughter had left the store. They searched for her around the mall, asking if anyone had seen her. Sotsaka was then told that the toddler had left with an unknown male sangoma and boarded a taxi.

Sotsaka opened a missing person file at the Thabong Police Station.

Investigations conducted by the police and members of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit members led to the retrieval of video footage captured at the mall.

In the footage, an African male was seen taking a child and entering a sedan with her, and then driving from Boitumelo Mall.

The police initiated a search and visited all the gathering spots of traditional healers in Thabong, until their gathered information led them to Extension 15, Hani Park, Bronville.

Thato was found and safely returned to her parents on 7 January. A 45-year-old male was arrested for kidnapping.

“Parents are sternly warned to always keep their children close to them, especially while busy with their shopping spree. Know their whereabouts, even at home,” said Maj. Gen. Tholie Afonso, district commissioner of Lejweleputswa.