Girl goes missing

By Tuesday afternoon the search still continued for a missing eight-year-old girl from Platfontein, who was last seen after school on Thursday (16/08).

The last person to have seen her, before going to play with her older sister, is her mother.

The girl was wearing a thin dress and was barefoot.

The Kimberley police has since opened a docket for a missing person case and a rape case. Three boys, aged 14, 15 and 16, were arrested on Friday (17/08) in connection with the matter.

It is alleged that the missing girl was playing on the street in Platfontein with two other children, a ten-year-old and a 12-year-old, when the suspects approached them.

The suspects took the three children to a piece of veld, where incidents of rape allegedly took place.

The ten-year-old and the 12-year-old returned home and reported the matter at about 18:00, but the eight-year-old girl did not return and has been missing since.

The Platfontein community continues to form search parties and hold daily prayer meetings, hoping for the return of the eight-year-old.

The family fears that chances are slim that the girl could be found alive, due to the cold and a lack of food.

Search parties have covered an area stretching over a distance of about 10 km away from her home – the distance they believe a girl her age can walk to collect firewood.

Community leader Fanie Moyo said he regretted allowing the police to handle the matter, as he was confident that the girl could have been found if it had been handled by them.

“What we did wrong, was to leave the tracking to the police on Friday,” said Moyo.

“Now they have destroyed the evidence and the wind has swept everything away.

“If I was called in to assist in the questioning of the suspects right after the arrest, I could have picked up a lead, as I work well with the community – and the girl could have been found by now.

“We have confidence in our own tracking abilities.”

Moyo added that it was only up to the will of God whether the girl would be found alive under the circumstances.

In response to whether the child was capable of running for such a long distance, he said: “They are capable, we walk this distance to the veld and carry heavy wood back home on our heads.”

According to Moyo, they had once had an incident in which a child had run away from home, and the community managed to track him down by themselves.

The suspects are currently at a place of safety in Kimberley and will appear in court soon on charges of rape.

Anyone who might have information regarding the whereabouts of the missing eight-year-old girl, is reques­ted to contact WO Neliva Lötter on 082-446-7756 or 060-972-3160, or to dial the Crime Stop number, 08600–10111.