Boy (3) reunited with parents

2008-01-04 00:00

Cape Town — A three-year-old boy who had been lost for nearly a month has been reunited with his parents at the Newcastle police station.

“Velapi was so excited to see his parents, he immediately ran to them and started talking non-stop,” a relieved Pieter Boshoff of Missing Children told News24.

News24 reported earlier yesterday that the “well-behaved” Velapi was spotted by a policeman on Thursday, December 13, wandering the streets of Newcastle on his own.

The little boy, who “charmed everyone with his good manners”, had been put in a “place of safety”, with a Newcastle family.

According to Boshoff, Velapi’s family live in Memel, an hour’s drive from Newcastle.

“Numerous friends and family responded to News24 and radio broadcasts about the missing boy,” he said.

“I received over 50 ‘please call mes’ and 20 Smses, all from people who could immediately identify the lost boy”.

Boshoff said the full story behind Velapi’s disappearance was not clear yet.

“Velapi’s parents are in a meeting with social workers as we are speaking, to establish what exactly happened,” he told News24.

However, it seems that the young Velapi had been travelling with someone to Newcastle by bus to attend a church meeting.

“He was travelling with another person who was supposed to take care of him,” Boshoff said.

As soon as the boy went missing, Velapi’s parents reported it at the Memel Police Station, but the Newcastle Police Station apparently did not receive the report.

“However, the Memel community has been fantastic,” says Boshoff. “As soon as I received the information, I phoned the police superintendent in Memel.

“She immediately responded by collecting Velapi’s parents with her own car and driving them to Newcastle,” he added.

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