South African car hijackers return stolen toddler

Thabile Khumalo and her daughter Sinokuhle
Image caption Thabile Khumalo was worried that the hijackers would kill her daughter

Two South African men who hijacked a car with a two-year-old girl inside have returned the toddler.

When Thabile Khumalo's car was stolen at gunpoint outside her Johannesburg home, she feared she would never see her daughter again.

"One of the hijackers seemed nice. I begged him to please just leave her somewhere," she told South Africa's Star Newspaper.

Ninety minutes later the men returned and left the girl outside the gate.

The story bears striking similarities to one of South Africa's most successful films of recent years - Tsotsi, in which a young thief steals a car with a baby inside, leading him to question his lifestyle.

Ms Khumalo said she was coming home with her mother and daughter when the hijackers approached their car on Sunday evening.

"They asked for cell phones and wallets, and I said they were inside [the house]. I told them to give me my baby," she said.

"They tried to take her out, but they must have been nervous, so they couldn't. They chucked my mum out."

Ms Khumalo said she was worried that they might kill the child.

"I thought she might cry and they would get agitated and shoot her," she said.

Police spokesperson Captain Godfrey Maditsi said the police were still searching for the pair and the car, the paper reported.

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