A child goes missing EVERY FIVE HOURS

A CHILD goes missing every five hours in South Africa, and 1.2 million children are trafficked every year in the country. This according to Missing Children South Africa (MSCA).

National case officer at MCSA Bianca Van Aswegen said while they are able to recover 78% of missing children, their success rate among adults is only 53%.

“We have different types of cases including children getting lost or going missing for various reasons. We do also get family abductions, that is our highest one, and human trafficking cases as well as abductions for various reasons that we do not know,” Van Aswegen told the SABC.

Margate SAPS spokesperson Captain Gerald Mfeka said, locally, the majority of cases were due to teenagers leaving home without notifying their parents, however there were more serious cases such as abduction and human trafficking related cases.

He said the police were working on a number of missing cases at the moment.

“The most important thing in terms of missing persons is to report the case immediately so that the police can start investigating.

“It used to be that parents would have to wait a 24 hour waiting period, now that rule has been amended to immediately because the first 24 hours after a child goes missing is the most crucial,” said Mfeka.

Last Thursday a 45-year-old Bhobhoyi man appeared in court after being found with 11-year-old Kholiwe Blose, who was taken from her home in KwaNyuswa area last month.

Ten-year-old Miguel Louw, from Durban, is still missing after being taken outside Rippon Primary School in Sydenham, central Durban, on July 17. CCTV footage taken from the area showed a man picking Miguel up from school. The man was arrested and appeared in court last week. Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said the suspect was initially charged with kidnapping but the charge has now been changed to child trafficking.

Local police are currently seeking assistance in looking for missing Philisiwe Mtangayi (23) from Oshabeni area. She was last seen on June 5 when she got a lift from Oshabeni to the Louisiana area.