Mpuma family believes mermaid took missing boy

Hazyview - Police divers have yet to find the body of a 12-year-old boy who went missing in a tributary of the Sabie River in Mpumalanga on 31 December.

Siyabonga Masango's family believed a mermaid had taken him, but would release him in time for school on Wednesday, after they performed some rituals.

"When I saw his friends going to school this morning I felt as if my son was here, and would be joining them," Siyabonga’s mother Leah said, according to a Sapa correspondent.

"I still believe my son is still alive and am praying that God will help us to get answers. Praying and following rituals will help us and we will not give up," she said.

Lisbeth Nyalungu 43, Siyabonga’s aunt, wants the police dog unit to join the search.

Mpumalanga inland water policing and diving service co-ordinator police spokesperson Pottie Potgieter said another search would be held on Thursday.

"We have not found him yet and we will continue searching for him. The last time we searched was yesterday [Tuesday] and we will continue tomorrow because we're busy with another case today."

He said the current was strong following heavy rains and that divers had searched a 9km stretch of water in vain.

He believed Siyabonga had either drowned or been attacked by a crocodile.

Siyabonga, of Shabalala Trust, near Hazyview, passed Grade 5 at Tfolinhlanhla Primary School last year with good marks and was meant to start Grade 6 on Wednesday.

His uncle Goodman Masango said that on the day the boy disappeared, he said he was going to play soccer.

"At around midday he told his father he was going to play soccer, but his friends later told us that they were with him when he complained of heat and suggested they go swimming.

"An eyewitness who was washing his car saw the boy being pulled into the water. He said he went there with his friends to help, but they couldn't see the boy anymore," Masango said.

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