South Africa

Domestic worker leaves baby unattended, flees with R28k goods

Police in Boschkop are searching for a woman who left a baby unattended outside her employer’s home and absconded with valuables estimated at R28 000.

According to police, Shaime Ncube, believed to be in her 20s and a Zimbabwean foreign national, was hired as a domestic helper.

“The complainant told police that she met Ncube via a recruitment agency and hired her,” said Boschkop police spokesperson Sergeant Yeroboam Mbatsane.

“She, however, didn’t have any form of identification.”

Mbatsane said the employee was employed for less than a year when she committed the theft on March 24.

“A few months down the line, [the complainant] was alerted that her young baby was left alone outside the house.

“Upon arrival, she found that her house was cleaned out and Ncube was nowhere to be found.”

Mbatsane said it was reported that Ncube stole an iPhone 6, an A3 Samsung phone, designer clothes and other household equipment.

The total value is estimated at R28 450.

“Boschkop SAPS needs the public help to find Ncube.”

Anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of the suspect is encouraged to contact the nearest police station on 0800 10111, the MySAPS App or 112 on any cellphone network.

Mbatsane called on employers looking for domestic assistance to vet their potential employees through security checks before hiring the candidate.

“Employers must do diligent security checks before hiring people and have a copy of the employee’s identification documents or passport.

“They can also check with the respective embassy or run security clearance with the police.

“We strongly discourage the employment of undocumented immigrants.”

In 2022, security company Fidelity ADT also urged employers to do proper checks on the people they plan to employ to safeguard their loved ones and homes.

Fidelity ADT spokesperson Charnel Hattingh said employing staff to work on your property is not a decision to be taken lightly – for many reasons.

“The job description of a domestic helper can be immense, often involving the care of the elderly or children, housework and cooking.”

The definition of “domestic worker” includes gardeners, nannies, caregivers and chauffeurs employed in private homes.

Hattingh said one way of ensuring proper vetting was to hire staff through a reputable agency, as references from family or friends were not a “fail-safe” these days.

She said the company’s experience was that domestic helpers with criminal histories relied on the fact that many employers do not do proper check-ups.

She added that it was concerning how many homeowners lived with strangers whose backgrounds they hardly knew until it is too late.

“The result can be disastrous with you perhaps discovering you have a thief or kidnapper under your roof around vulnerable family members, especially children. It is ignorant to neglect to do a background check on someone you want to hire to take care of your loved ones, pets and home.”

The basic information you should get before hiring someone:

– Full names

– Nicknames

– Residential address

– ID number/passport number

– References (as many as possible and visit the previous employers in person if you can)

– Certified copies of all ID documents

Supplementary information:

– ID photo

– Family details

– Next of kin

– Medical history

– Police clearance certificate/criminal record check

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