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LEFT HOLDING THE BABY: Tshekiso waiting at Molepolole Police Station

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A father’s fear

Baby mama’s nighttime visit leaves herdman holding the baby

A single night with his eight-month-old daughter was all it took for Ofentse Tshekiso to go running to the police desperate to track down his baby mama and return the infant.

Narrating his ‘ordeal’ to The Voice, the 36-year-old herdman revealed his girlfriend turned up unannounced at his place on Saturday night, carrying their child.

Tshekiso’s delight at seeing his daughter quickly melted away, replaced by fear as his lover, Malebogo Koobeile, 34, ran off into the night without an explanation.

“It was around 9pm. As soon as I heard the knock and opened for her, she quickly got inside the house, put down the baby and left. When I asked her why she was leaving the baby, she shouted at me that I should not sleep with girls while I am with the baby,” he recalled.

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Fortunately, the child slept peacefully through the night content with the milk he was feeding her.

“Lona tlhe ruri basadi le setlhogo, you ladies you have no mercy! How can you leave a man with a toddler who does not know good and wrong. She is just happy, not knowing what is happening!” Tshekiso exclaimed.

By the next morning Koobeile had failed to return any of his many calls. Desperate to attend to his employer’s goats, the panicking father felt he had no choice but to report his absent baby mama to the police.

Braving the unseasonably cold weather, Tshekiso left his home in Thebephatshwa lands to hitchhike the 20km into Molepolole.

An uneventful 15-minute combi ride later, clutching his young daughter tightly to his chest, Tshekiso walked into Molepolele Police Station looking for help.

With just two officers on duty and a line of complaints to deal with, unimpressed with the slow service and eager to return home before nightfall, Tshekiso decided to try his luck at Lekgwapheng police post instead.

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His quest proved more successful at the smaller outpost, as the Lekgwapheng cops were able to contact Koobeile, who immediately came to collect the child.

“She told them she had left the baby to do a temporary job,” said Tshekiso, adding he met Koobeile in 2018 when she already had six children.

The couple then had a child of their own together, with Tshekiso telling The Voice he cares for all seven children with his income as a herdman.

“We used to stay together at my place but I recently told her to go back to her mother’s place as she was always fighting me. She once tore my bed apart!” claimed Tshekiso, who was keen to stress that he loves his daughter very much and has no problem looking after her.

“I am not worried about staying with my baby as I have been caring for her with her other siblings. I am only worried that I left my employer’s goats unattended and they might go astray. I want the baby mama to explain her problem before the police if she doesn’t want the baby so that I take the whole responsibility!” he maintained.

Although they no longer live together, Tshekiso says he is still with Koobeile.

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Unfortunately, The Voice’s repeated efforts to contact Koobile for her side of the story proved unsuccessful as her phone did not ring.

Meanwhile, Molepolole Station Commander, Motlhaba Ramaabya confirmed Tshekiso reported the issue to the police but has not yet opened a case.

The Superintendent explained it is an offence for a mother to leave a baby as both parents should be responsible for the child.

Ramaabya further noted one could face the slightly obscure charge of ‘failure to give necessaries’ a crime that carries a possible three-year jail sentence.

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