'Please bring her back' – anxious mom after girl, 3, disappeared during New Year's Eve church service

2018-01-24 08:16
Siphesihle Zama Dlamini has been missing since December 31. (Supplied)

Siphesihle Zama Dlamini has been missing since December 31. (Supplied)

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Durban – The family of a 3-year-old girl who disappeared inside a church on New Year's Eve in Amandawe, on the lower South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, is still in the dark about her whereabouts and is willing to pay for her safe return.

Thabsile Dlamini Jama, 22, told News24 on Tuesday that her daughter, Siphesihle Zama Dlamini, had still not been found, almost a month after her disappearance on December 31.

Dlamini Jama said her daughter went missing around 10:45, 15 minutes before the church service was due to end.

READ: Girl, 3, still missing after disappearing from church service

It was the first time they had been to the church in Amandawe, Dlamini Jama said.

"We were inside the church when I last saw my daughter. The church leaders had asked those who were attending the church for the first time to come to the front. Three of us stood up and walked to the front," she said.

Dlamini Jama said she left her daughter where she was seated when she went to the front.

Invitation to church

"When I returned, she was not there but only my bag was there," she said.

Dlamini Jama said her aunt who sat in another section of the church also did not see where the girl had gone.

She said she immediately began searching for her.

"I first went to the church's toilets because I thought she might have gone there to pee but I didn't find her there," she said.

Dlamini Jama revealed that a local woman had asked her to come to the church on the day.

"She came to our house at about 05:00 that morning. She specifically told me to come with my daughter and aunt to the service which began at 08:00," she said.

'She loves people'

The woman has not visited her home since the disappearance of her daughter.

She said she had told police what had happened but they said they could not act without tangible evidence.

Dlamini Jama said some children claimed that they bought a packet of chips for her daughter on the morning of her disappearance "but changed their story when police questioned them".

"She loves people. She gets along with anyone because she grew up in a diverse environment where all races live. She was to start creche this year."

She hoped her little girl was still alive.

"If she is dead, we would have by now found her body. We've been to hospitals and mortuaries but we can't find her," she said.

R30 000 reward

She appealed to the person who might have abducted her daughter: "Please bring her back. She is our only child. We are even prepared to pay for her safe return."

Dlamini Jama said her daughter's father, Mxolisi Ngwane, has been able to raise a R30 000 reward.

The girl was wearing a pink dress and white shoes on the day of her disappearance.

Dlamini Jama said she had not been to church since.

"It is very hard for me to leave home and go to church after the incident."

Colonel Thembeka Mbhele confirmed that the girl disappeared during a church service.

She appealed to anyone who may have seen the child or who may know of her whereabouts to contact the Umzinto family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit detectives on 062 772 8943 or their nearest police station.

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