The Gauteng Department of Health has confirmed that a newborn baby was kidnapped on Thursday at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.

The incident is alleged to have happened during the afternoon visiting hours.

CCTV footage from the hospital shows a female suspect roaming in and around the antenatal clinic and then later she was spotted exiting the maternity area, carrying a baby in a blanket.

She is then seen with two accomplices where they swopped the blankets before leaving the hospital.

Police are currently searching for the suspect.

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku says they hope police act swiftly to apprehend the suspect.

“We actually have received saddening news, very upsetting news of an alleged kidnapping of a newborn at the Chris Hani Baragwanath. We also have called in the service of the police. The case has been opened and we are handing over the CCTV footage to them so they can launch a manhunt. We are hoping and praying that the culprit will be identified and that the baby will be returned to the mother safely.”