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Johannesburg - When news broke that two Gauteng missing teenagers were found on Monday in KwaZulu-Natal, Edwin Magwai thought his daughter was one of them.
Magwai’s daughter, Mbali, had left home on July 20, 2011 to buy meat at the nearby Shoprite centre in Dube, Soweto, but never returned home.
Her mother, Zodwa, was the last person to hear Mbali’s voice after she had sent a “please call me” message on the day she disappeared.
Mbali said, “Mama”, then the phone cut and she has not been heard from since.
Zodwa has been admitted twice to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic hospital due to stress.
Yesterday morning, Magwai said a friend had informed him that two girls had been found in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.
“It’s been almost two years since her disappearance,” said the dad. “We are trying to be strong, but it is not easy at all… We hope there’ll be some sort of leads to her disappearance or people calling to inform us that she’s been found somewhere,” said Magwai.
Meanwhile, two Lenasia families were reunited with teenage girls – Katya Stiglingh, 15, and Simone Vandegar, 16, who went missing last Wednesday.
The teenagers were last seen getting into a red car.
Katya’s father, Saul Stiglingh, said he had received anonymous phone calls about his daughter’s whereabouts and had tried to organise search parties with the neighbours.
“We are so grateful for the support and to the people involved. Lots of things go through your mind when your child disappears,” he said.
SAPS spokeswoman Katlego Mogale said the girls were found on a Durban beach on Monday.
“The matter will be investigated,” she said on Monday night.
The girls were brought to Joburg on Monday evening and spent a night at a place of safety after they had been positively identified by their parents.
“No mother should go through what I went through,” said Katya’s mother, Yvonne.
Saul said both the child’s laptop and cellphone had been sold and that it seemed as if the girls had gone to Durban by themselves.
A team from The Star had been told that the Vandegar family was ready to sit for an interview in a private room.
But, as the team waited to be directed to the room, Simone and her mother, Samatha, drove away quickly without an explanation.