A Johannesburg mother is frantic after her toddler vanished, apparently with a woman who passed herself off as a relative of his father and convinced her to let the child visit her, police said on Saturday.
Little Lihle Mmusi's mother Nancy told police that a woman who identified herself as Matsidiso, a relative of her children's father, came to visit her at her home in Protea South Central on Friday afternoon.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Khalipha Mvula said Lihle's mother was visited by the woman at about 16:00 on Friday, and she had asked after her children.
She told the woman that one of her children was not home yet, and that her 10-year-old son was playing at a neighbour's house.
The woman (Matsidiso) left and came back a little while later with the 10-year-old boy.
"Matsidiso succeeded in convincing the unsuspecting mother to allow her to leave with the 10-year-old boy, as well as the toddler, as she had told the mother that she was taking the kids to visit her at her place of residence in Protea South zone 6," said Mvula.
However, an hour later, the 10-year-old boy returned home alone and, when his mother asked where his brother was, he said that Matsidiso had told him to go home.
Nancy rushed to the house in Zone 6, but Matsidiso and her toddler had vanished.
Police have opened a case of kidnapping and are appealing to anybody with information that could help in finding little Lihle to contact Detective Sergeant Masango of the Soweto West Family violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offenses unit on 078 144 7684 or the Protea Glen police on 011 986 9272.
Mvula also appealed to parents not to trust strangers with their children.