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mom in Johannesburg, South Africa, is relieved to be reunited with her son one week after he
was kidnapped from her home at gunpoint. But she says her son isn't the same.
his safe return, Patricia Schraffl noticed that her 1-year-old son Relebogile "Ditsebe" Tsotetsi exhibited
have noticed now that he sometimes uses tissues when he touches door
handles," Patricia told News24.
don't know where he gets that from. Also, he now has a habit of taking off his
nappy and trying to pee in a two-liter empty cold drink bottle," she said.
believes her son may have copied these behaviors from his abductors do during
his week-long ordeal that began with a phone call from a stranger.
a funeral parlor owner, was at home with her family when she received a phone
call from someone requesting she come pick up a corpse. Two of her children are
her biological offspring, while three are foster children. She had recently
split with her husband and former business partner, whom she had not spoken to
since he was ordered to pay child support.
were all already in our nightgowns, but I asked my elder son to take out the
car while I checked if I could locate someone to help me," Patricia told
of an armed burglary just three months prior, she had cameras and a panic button
installed in her home. When she checked the camera, she saw that the gate had
been opened and there was a man standing in the yard.
instructed her children to press the panic button, move to the bedroom and call
the police. Shortly afterwards, there was a knock on the door but she refused to
police and armed officials were on the scene within minutes and discovered that
the perpetrators had cut open the lock but were nowhere to be found. The armed police
left the scene after not finding anyone.
told my son to put the van back because it seems like this was a false
call," said Patricia, suspecting that the caller had simply wanted to lure
her out of the house.
phone rang again and the same customer who had called was on the line again,
claiming that he was still waiting for her to collect the body.
Patricia prepared herself to leave the house again, she opened the door and
found two armed men outside.
guy cocked the gun and demanded the child. They held me by my T-shirt and
pushed me towards the cot of the child," she remembered.
felt helpless as she watched the men make off with her 1-year-old.
week later, police returned her son to her. He had been found wandering between
a petrol station and a car dealership.
boy had a note with him with a warning for her and his father, Mmtlalepula.
Attention, Mpoku Funeral Parlour. We hope you have learned your lesson. You must
tell Mmtlalepula that we want our money ... Or Else ..."
really wish he could tell me what had happened to him because at the moment, he
can only string a few words together," she said.