Witnesses at the bail hearing of an 18-year-old schoolgirl who allegedly stole a baby from its mother have been accused of fabricating evidence.
This allegation was part of state prosecutor Matrose Tobinceba’s final arguments in the Bellville magistrate’s court in Cape Town on Monday.
The state accused two of Karabo Tau’s defence witnesses — the isiXhosa teacher who testified that Tau was in her class on the day of the kidnapping, as well as the IT manager from Claremont High who testified that Tau was on the CCTV footage on the same afternoon — of lying to protect the teenage scholar.
“We are having trouble believing the defence’s witnesses and we cannot attach weight to their evidence. Some people believe Karabo is an angel, but she doesn’t want to tell us the truth. She is a dishonest person,” said Tobinceba.
Karabo was arrested for the kidnapping of a two-month-old baby from Khayelitsha on January 16.
She is accused of luring the mother to Parow under the guise of a social worker named Monica before snatching the baby. The state says Tau worked with a foreign syndicate to traffic the baby over the border.
After her arrest, Tau made a statement that served as the cornerstone of the state’s case. In it, she confessed to the kidnapping and handing the baby over to a friend.
Upon taking to the witness stand on February 6, however, Karabo revealed she was forced to confess to the kidnapping as well as give up the names of two of her foreign national friends to police.
But the state says Karabo is trying to cover her tracks.
“Kidnapping is cancer. It is killing this country,” said Tobincela. “If this accused is released on bail, the chances of having the child back is slim if not zero. This is a syndicate acting with one cause.”
Before Karabo’s defence could lead its final arguments, magistrate Charles Scott remanded the matter to Wednesday due to load-shedding delaying the court roll.
Tau will remain in custody until her appearance on Wednesday afternoon, alongside her co-accused Ely Kibunda.