The family of missing 3-year-old Anothando Mhlobo believes he has been taken by a man who had lent the family R500.
While hundreds of frantic Hout Bay residents launched a massive search for the boy, who was last seen playing outside his home on Monday, the residents were also searching for the man’s whereabouts yesterday.
Residents intensified the search, going through bushes, on sports fields, on the banks of rivers, and around drain pipes along Hout Bay.
Drones, sniffer dogs and helicopters were used while roadblocks to entry and exit points were conducted.
Anothando was last seen wearing a navy, red and white jacket with red and navy tracksuit pants, as well as red and blue Spiderman gumboots.
Speaking on behalf of the family, community leader Busisiwe Sitsha said: “The mother (Phathiswa Mhlobo) said on Monday (the man) arrived at her home and said if she doesn’t pay him back the R500 she owes him, he will do something to her or her children; and then around 1 pm, the child went missing,” she said.
Sitsha said Mhlobo was distraught and had not been eating since her son had disappeared. “The mother has three children. I have asked her to eat so she can have energy and strength to get through this.
’’We won’t stop until we find him. We want to find him even if he is not alive so that his mother can say ‘these are his bones I have buried them’.
“We are in trouble in Hout Bay. This is the fourth child that has been missing this way,” she said.
Anothando’s disappearance follows months after 12-year-old Sibusiso Dakuse’s body was discovered on Kronendal Farm in Hout Bay.
Hout Bay ward councillor Roberto Quintas urged residents to work together in protecting children. “It is a matter of concern that children are at risk in the community. We need to take collective ownership of what is happening to our children. We need to keep our eyes on our youngsters and have an idea of who’s doing what,” said Quintas.
Police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said Anothando’s disappearance was under investigation.
Anyone with information can contact Sergeant Smith at 083 522 1075/ or Hout Bay SAPS at 021 791 8660 or, anony- mously, Crime Stop on 08600 10111, or SMS Crime Line on 32211.
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