Magistrate begs accused to disclose information about missing Durban boy
A Durban magistrate has appealed to an alleged human trafficker to disclose any information that may lead to the whereabouts of a 10-year-old boy, who has been missing for several weeks.
In highly-charged proceedings on Tuesday, Magistrate Mahomed Motala appealed to the man "for the sake of the child and the people affected".
"If you know the whereabouts of this child, I appeal to you to let the authorities know. For the sake of the child and the people that are affected by this, please ... I appeal to you to bring it to the attention of the authorities," Motala told the accused.
He was talking to the man accused in connection with the disappearance of Sydenham boy, Miguel Louw. The accused cannot be named, the court previously ruled.
Motala said that while it was not for him to decide whether the accused knew the whereabouts of the boy, there was "interest in this case".
He went on to criticise the State for taking too long to finalise their case after the accused claimed he was assaulted in custody. Motala said the State "had opportunities to do whatever they need to".
"[The accused] is complaining his rights are being violated and assaulted. There is a young boy missing, but we cannot compromise the constitutional rights of the accused."
'This is not fair'
While proceedings were in session, swear words and curses were directed at the accused. As he was taken away, Miguel's mother Raylene spat at him and appealed to him to return her son.
During a previous court appearance, the outraged mother swore at the accused and demanded the return of her son.
Motala postponed the matter to August 29 for a formal bail application.
Responding to this, the accused nodded his head and said: "This is not fair."
Inside and outside the Durban Magistrate's Court, the community of Sydenham came out to show their support.
Speaking to the media, Miguel's aunt Tashnim De Santos said the community and family were still searching tirelessly for the young boy. She said the accused was bold to claim he had rights.
"I cannot believe he thinks it is okay for him to take our child and then in the docks, say he has rights."
Little Miguel has been missing since July 17. He was allegedly last seen in the company of the accused.