Missing boy found dead in dam

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Jim se Bos residents watch as police carry little Alvino van der Bergs body. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane

The body of missing little Alvino van der Berg has been found floating face down in a Cape Flats dam.

When the community found the body of the murdered five-year-old boy who vanished after playing a racing game with his father last week, they called the Daily Voice first.

It was our team who alerted the police to the grim discovery.

The body of little Alvino was found in murky waters in a dam on a farm – just three kilometres from his Jim se Bos informal settlement home in Philippi.

Outraged community members now say they have a killer in their midst who kept the corpse of the little boy hidden before dumping him in the dam on Friday.

And they have vowed to kill the murderer if police don’t catch him soon.

Alvino was found lying face down, his little blue pyjama pants sticking out of the dark water covered with green moss.

Police are still unsure how the boy died but are awaiting a post-mortem.

At 2.37pm, Ellen Salphirus, 49, who was part of the 13-strong search team who found the body, contacted the Daily Voice with a “Please call me”.

“Hi, ons het Alvino gekry in n dam in Punt Road [Philippi], bel asseblief die polisie,” (Hi, we found Alvino in a dam in Punt Road) Ellen said.

Our team raced off to the scene and immediately contacted provincial police’s Lieutenant Ian Bennette.

“The body has positively been identified as that of missing Alvino van der Berg by his father,” says Bennette.

“We have opened a murder docket and the cause of death is not known at this stage.”

At the scene, Alvino’s parents Alvin van der Berg, 41, and mom Magdalene Blignaut, 35, collapsed to the ground in shock and had to be consoled by police and their priest Abe Hendricks.

“I just told them to relax and that I would make the necessary arrangements,” says priest Hendricks.

“According to people, a black canvas bag was found with blood on it, we can’t say if it is the child’s until they take him out of the water.”

Last week Monday, Alvin told the Daily Voice how he and Alvino raced from a tuck shop home, taking separate routes.

But while he made it home, his little son was never seen again.

John Isaacs, 35, found the swollen body in the dam’s murky waters after noticing an usual object above the water.

“I thought why is this object so high in the water,” he explains.

“I picked up a long stick and I touched it… when it moved, I saw the hair and I thought it was a doll but then I saw it was the child.”

He says unfortunately his discovery made cops suspicious of him.

“I got such a fright and now the police questioned me like I was behind this,” John tells the Daily Voice.

Ellen says it was God who led them to the body because they prayed for answers.

She explains: “I asked God this morning for direction and to lead us.

“We are thankful to God for finding him, now we can all be at peace that he has been found.

“What makes us sick now is that there is a killer in our community, targeting our children.

“The killer must have kept this child’s body and dumped it because we were too warm [close] for him. We searched day and night for him.

“The father mentioned to the community that he received a call in the week and the person said something about water.”

Alvino’s ma Magdalene became hysterical and screamed as police divers removed her son’s body wrapped in a body bag.

Community member Ernest Warnie, 42, is baying for the killer’s blood.

“If the police don’t get him before we do... There is someone killing our children,” he says.

A day before his son’s body was discovered, Alvin said he wished to find his son, even if it was just his body.

The boy’s uncle and two friends were also questioned by police but no arrests have been made.

*This article was published in the Daily Voice


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