Missing schoolgirl (8) reunited with her family

2008-10-13 00:00

It was a tearful and happy reunion for mother Nomusa Mncwabe and daughter Sethabile Ngcobo (8), who was reported missing after failing to return home from school on Friday.

The child arrived at school yesterday safe and sound after spending the weekend with a friend — and found her mother waiting for her.

“I really want to thank our neighbours, the police and the school for their help. The principal left a funeral of a relative to assist us with a list of the pupils we could call,” Mncwabe said yesterday.

The Mncwabes described the past weekend as the darkest of their lives, since they did not know whether the child was dead or alive.

“I’ve always seen on TV pictures of missing children and really felt sorry for the parents. I never knew it would ever happen to me.

“No one ate in this house until today. We were in tears the whole weekend.”

She said she returned home from work at eight on Friday evening to be met with the news that her child was not home and no one knew where she was.

She went searching at the school, Alston Primary in Greyling Street, even though her brother had already searched there earlier and been told by the caretaker that there was no sign of Sethabile.

A visit to the central police station was followed by a night of frantic searching of dark streets and visits to orphanages in Pietermaritzburg.

This continued again on Saturday and Sunday, this time with the help of neighbours.

According to Mncwabe, her daughter was left behind by a bakkie that takes her to school every day and was found crying by a fellow pupil’s aunt who took Sethabile home with her.

This aunt, Mncwabe added, claimed to have been called by the police, and said she was told they would attend to the matter, but the police never arrived.

Mncwabe said she chose to enroll her child in a school so far from her neighbourhood because she wanted her child to have better prospectsd than she had.

“I wanted her to grow up knowing how to communicate with everyone by learning English early and for her to have more opportunities than I did.”

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