Kidnap fear for girl (7)

2010-08-12 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG father’s fond memories of happy times with his blue-eyed, seven-year-old daughter is all he has left of her ever since she was allegedly kidnapped early this year.

Christo Maree (30), an Estcourt prison warder, is concerned that he might not see his only child, Danelle Maree, ever again — this despite being granted temporary custody by the high court in Pietermaritzburg.

Maree said Danelle disappeared with her mother Chantal (31) and her fugitive stepfather, Schalk Louw (30), in March.

He said he last spoke to her by phone while she was living with the couple, who are unemployed, in Hibberdene near Port Shepstone on March 5.

“When I spoke to her over the phone it did not come to my mind that it was our last conversation. I love my daughter and we had a bond of a father-daughter relationship,” said Maree.

He said his daughter stayed with him at his Chase Valley home in Pietermaritzburg in January. But she had to return to her mother, who by then had custody.

Maree said the court granted him the right to visit Danelle every second week of the month, and to be with her in Pietermaritzburg during holidays.

He said the girl was doing grade one last year, but he doubts if she still goes to school.

“I was paying maintenance of R750 a month.

“But all of a sudden her mother demanded that if I wanted to see my daughter I must first pay R1 000 extra.

“My lawyers and I went to court to report the ‘ransom’, and the court granted me a temporary custody,” said Maree.

Maree and Chantal were divorced in 2008 and she married Louw on December 16 last year.

Police said they are looking for Louw in connection with cases of fraud that were allegedly committed on the south coast.

“My main concern is that my daughter is out of school since they are on the run with her stepfather.

“She was not even stable at the school since her mother would move her from one school to another in one year,” he said.

Maree said he had hired a private investigator to track them down and bring Danelle back to him.

He said the three have been sought in Ermelo in Mpumalanga, Springs in Gauteng and Hibberdene and Amanzimtoti on the south coast.

“Since the private investigator tried unsuccessful to locate them, “I’m now appealing to the members of the public to please help me get my child back,” Maree added.

Danelle’s grandmother, Sannie Maree, said the disappearance of Danelle has left her with broken heart.

“We cannot see how a mother can do this to the father and to the grandparents. We love her. Anyone who knows their whereabouts should please help us,” said her grandmother.

Police have appealed to anyone who knows their whereabouts to contact Warrant Officer G. Bower of Town Hill police station at 033 845 7789 or Captain Rennie of Hibberdene police station at 082 411 5172, or emergency number 079 257 6741.

Callers can also contact Christo Maree at 082 564 9848 or Sannie Maree at 082 443 0159 or both at 033 394 4859.


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