Gingindlovu boy (4) missing since February

2012-04-27 00:00

IN the same week that an eight-year-old girl was raped by her teen neighbour in Gingindlovu, it was discovered that another child has been missing for almost two months in the area.

This came to light when government officials were visiting the area to investigate the rape.

A distraught Ngidi Bethwayo told The Witness that her four-year-old grandson went missing in February, and nothing had been done to find him.

“To this day, we have heard nothing from the police after reporting him missing on that very same day,” Bethwayo said.

She said her grandson, Lindo Bethwayo, had been given money to go to a shop while he waited for transport to take him to school on the morning of February 28.

“Another child came to our house and told us that he had left his school bag at the gate,” she said.

When his uncle, who takes the children in the area to and from school, returned without him in the afternoon, she went to the Gingindlovu police station to report him missing.

She said yesterday’s delegation told her they would conduct an investigation into her grandson’s disappearance.

Education MEC Senzo Mchunu, who was visiting the family of the child who was raped and maimed on Monday, described the attack as a gross atrocity.

He said he would meet with the prosecutor to discuss the matter.

Mchunu said the child lost one of her eyes, and that it is still unclear if she will lose her sight. Her teenage attacker tried to gouge out both her eyes.

“We also met with the police to find out how they were dealing with the matter,” he said.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize expressed outrage at the rape.

“This incident takes place a few days before we celebrate Freedom Day,” he said.

“Our quest for freedom cannot be complete if our country is plagued by social ills which have become so endemic in our society such as child molestation, rapes and teenage pregnancies.

The boy (15) was arrested and appeared in the local magistrate’s court. He was later released into the custody of his parents.

Mchunu said he did not know whether the boy would return to school, as that decision was up to the parents to make.

“For someone who was involved in such an atrocity, it is not desirable for him to be back at the school,” he said.

Mchunu said MECs must always try and meet communities following such incidents.

The premier and members of cabinet are scheduled to visit the victim in Empangeni this morning, his spokesperson Ndabezinhle Sibiya said.

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