Sydenham community braves rain to attend candlelight vigil of missing Durban boy, 9

The community of Sydenham in Durban braved the rain and cold to attend the candlelight vigil of missing 9-year-old Miguel Louw on Friday evening.

Children as young as Miguel and their parents lit candles, sang and prayed outside his home in the bad weather.

A decomposed body discovered in Phoenix on Monday is believed to be that of Miguel who went missing on July 17 in Sydenham.

He was believed to have been kidnapped shortly after leaving school.

Family lawyer Vasthi Williams told journalist at the vigil that the police had not given them any information since the body had been found.

"DNA samples had been taken from both Miguel's parents, but we were given to understand that even a rushed DNA takes three to four weeks at a the very least. So, in this time the family is going through a [lot of] turbulent of emotions. Part of them wants to believe that it's not Miguel at the same time they want closure if it is him. With all the stories going around, people sympathising and the family saying they don't know if it's him, it's a very difficult emotional situation," said Williams.

Mother 'not in a good place'

She said the family was very grateful for the support from the community.

Williams said Miguel's mother, Raylene Louw, was "not in a good place at all", that's why she did not join the community at the vigil.

"No one wants this to happen in their lives. I don't think she can face the crowd today," she said.

She added that their focus now was to ascertain whether the body that was found on Monday was Miguel's or not.

Vigil organiser Cindy Parsons thanked those who came to the gathering on behalf of the family.

"The children are the most important things to us right now, without our children there is no future. They are our future. That's why this evening, having every one of you here, warms my heart and I'm sure it warms the family's hearts tenfold," she said.

Suspect given bail

She added that other candlelight vigils were held in Wentworth and Newlands East at the same time as the Sydenham vigil.

Last week, 43-year-old Mohammed Ebrahim who was allegedly the last person seen with Miguel appeared in court facing human trafficking charges.

He was released on R2 500 bail after evidence failed to link him to the kidnapping of the boy.

Although Ebrahim was released on bail, he is still in custody.

Williams said according to her understanding, Ebrahim, who was arrested on July 28, was still in custody only because he could not pay his bail.

Video footage allegedly shows Ebrahim buying Miguel KFC near his school in Rippon Road in Sydenham.

However, it is not yet clear whether the boy entered a taxi with Ebrahim after visiting the KFC.