Girl (5) still missing

2016-07-27 06:00
FRANK (38) and Margaret Magwadibane (35), the parents of the missing Keitumetse (5).  Photos: Emile Hendricks

FRANK (38) and Margaret Magwadibane (35), the parents of the missing Keitumetse (5). Photos: Emile Hendricks

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THERE is still no trace of the missing Keitumetse Magwadibane (5) of Promised Land in Galeshewe, who went missing on Thursday, 14 July.

The last time her parents saw her was on the morning of 14 July when she was playing with her seven-month-old sister inside their two-room shack.

Pleas from her unemployed and distraught parents for whoever abducted their little girl to return her safely have not born any fruit.

Four suspects have been arrested and are expected to re-appear before the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court for bail application on Monday (01/08).

One of the suspects, Joseph Mgobo (38), briefly appeared in court on Friday (22/07), while Maruping Magwabone, Clarens Mkhonto and Nomsa Mazibuko made brief court appearances on Monday (25/07).

Struggling to hold back the tears on Thursday (21/07), a week after his daughter’s disappearance, Frank Magwadibane (38) pleaded by saying: “This is too difficult for me to say. My heart is bleeding when I think of the efforts I put into raising my child, only for someone else to rip her away from me.

“If he wants money, I can arrange for him to get it, just to be re-united with my child.”

While the days continue to go past, Margaret (35), the mother of little Keitume­tse, is starting to become a shadow of herself due to depression.

On top of various search parties formed, the family has sought advice from different traditional healers, who sent them from pillar to post.

The community crime fighting organisation Wanya Tsotsi was also left confused after they had received different leads from the traditional healers, which confused the family.

According to Sgt. Majang Skalkie of the Galeshewe Police Station, the search for the missing child continues.

The statements made by the traditional healers include that the child is dead, that she has been kidnapped and is being held inside a shack, that she is being held hostage amongst trees, that she will be returned home in a white car and that she was slit open to remove her intestines.

Margaret, who suffers from confusion due to a lack of rest, told Express Northern Cape about how exhausted she was by all the false statements.

“I do not sleep anymore after I went to one healer who had told me that my daughter would be dropped off at the corner of my street at night. That was three nights ago.

“I continued to go to the identified corner in an effort to spot the car that would drop off my baby. But there was no car. I continued to do so the next night,” she said.

Frank, also left confused and exhausted, does not know whether to continue or to stop the search.

“All I want is to see my child back home. I do not know whether to believe she is dead or alive,” he said.

The community was asked to calm down and to allow the law to take its course after several attempts at mob justice, where Wanya Tsotsi and the police had to rescue some of the suspects from the fuming masses who wanted to assault them.

They had to stand guard throughout the day on Friday (22/07) at the properties of the suspects, as the angry residents wanted to burn down their properties.

The community were angered by the fact that a pair of pink pants, which the parents had reportedly positively identified as the pair their daughter had worn on the day of her disappearance, was found at the house of one of the suspects, Nomsa Mazibuko, who is a sangoma.

The masses later dispersed on Friday at 17:00 after praying to the Holy Spirit to enter the person’s heart who abducted the child to release her safely to her parents.

The Ward 16 councillor, Joel Stout, said they would continue the programme of prayer services and would follow up on leads that come forth.

He further added that they were working on asking all the traditional healers who had been consulted by the family to gather in an effort to find a solution and minimise confusing the family.

“We will get to the bottom of this through the power of prayer.

“We continue to get positive leads, although we have to take into consideration that we have our own different beliefs,” he said.

According to Stout, they have engaged with the Department of Social Development and were told that MEC Gift van Staden had allocated two social workers to focus specifically on the Magwadibane case.

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