Couple ‘took care of’ missing girls

2010-09-21 12:56

Two missing Orange Farm girls were handed over to the police by a Vlakfontein couple today.

The two eleven-year-olds, Mbali and Thando*, went missing on September 6 from their home where they are reported to be staying with a relative whom they call “grandmother”.

Jabulani Vilakazi, who took them to the police, said he met the children on the day they went missing and took them to his home.

“I found them after dark hiking near Orange Farm and decided to stop,” Vilakazi said. “I was alarmed that two young girls were hiking at that time of the night.”

He said the children told him they were hungry and he decided to take them home with him.

“The next morning when I wanted to take them home, they refused, saying their grandmother beats them and they were afraid to go back.”

He said that the children told him they were on their way to their parents who stay in Soweto.

Vilakazi, a plumber in Midrand, kept the children under the care of his girlfriend, Nozipho Hlongwane, when he went to work during the day.

“I was later informed by one of my friends at work of a newspaper article which reported about two missing children,” said Vilakazi.

He then decided to take the children to the police and try re-uniting them with their family.

Orange Farm police spokesperson Captain Johannes Motsiri confirmed that the children had been found and were safe, reports Marumo Machete.

Motsiri said that the police would be issuing a press statement shortly.

There has been a frantic search through the media, pamphlets and social networking site Facebook to establish the whereabouts of the children.

The relative with whom they stay could not immediately be reached for comment.

*Full names withheld on legal advice.

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