Search continues for Cape Town schoolgirl, 12, who went missing nearly two weeks ago

Lunamandla Sithonga.
Lunamandla Sithonga.
  • Lunamandla Sithonga has been missing since 9 July.
  • The WCED says it received a report indicating there is no record of her arriving at school that day.
  • According to her mother, Lunamandla never stayed away from school.

It has been almost two weeks since 12-year-old Lunamandla Sithonga left for school and went missing.

Western Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana on Wednesday said police were following all leads, but there were "no new developments to report at this stage".

"The child is still being sought," she told News24.

According to a missing person's report, Sithonga was last seen on 9 July when she was dropped off at Eastville Primary school in Eastridge, Mitchells Plain.

Provincial education department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond described Lunamandla's disappearance as a "devastating and very concerning" incident.

She confirmed the pupil was last seen at school on Wednesday, 8 July.

READ | Body of missing Hout Bay boy found

"The WCED received a report indicating that there is no record of her arriving at the school on Thursday, 9 July. All learners have to go through a screening process before entering the school. Her name is not recorded," she said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and those who are participating in the search. We are hopeful that there will be a breakthrough soon in the case."

A psychologist and social worker have been at the school to provide support, Hammond added.

South African Youth Council (SAYC) Western Cape provincial secretary Zuko Mndayi said it was saddened by the "protracted and unresolved case".

She said the SAYC had joined community searches in Mitchells Plain as well as Khayelitsha, where Lunamandla lives.

Lunamandla Sithonga. (Supplied)
Lunamandla Sithonga.

"Though the SAPS Dog Unit and the community have been searching in the bush field between Swartklip and Mew Way Roads for over a week now, we are convinced that more resources are needed to ascertain what happened to her," Mndayi said.


"We call on more resources to be made available in search of the young girl and for psycho-social support to be provided for her family."

Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez this week said a team of social workers had visited Lunamandla's family.

"We are calling on our communities to be our eyes and ears on the ground. Please do not hesitate to contact the SAPS, or any other relevant authority if you have any information about Lunamandla.

"Furthermore, we would also like to thank everyone who has been working hard and actively involved in the search," she said.

"A dedicated team of social workers would continue to render psycho-social support and other assistance to the family members and neighbours who have been affected and left traumatised by the incident," Fernandez added.

Affectionately known as Luna, her mother Anela told the Cape Times that she had last seen her daughter board her scholar transport the morning she went missing.

After school, the driver had asked her if her daughter was home because when he went to collect her, he was told she was absent.

There was no record of her on the Covid-19 screening register or on the class register, Anela said, and her classmates also said she hadn't come to school.

According to her, Lunamandla never stayed away from school, the publication reported.

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