Cape Town - For more than 40 years she has been longing to piece together the memories of her biological mother. Now Shireen Diedericks has finally built up the courage to search for the woman who left her in the care of her aunty when she was just an infant.
Diedericks, who was born in Cape Town, moved to Gqeberha with her aunty when she was just one year old.
According to the mother of two, her biological mother, Jean Virginia Groenewald, left her with her grandma in Kensington and later called her aunty to take her.
“That’s all I know. No one knows why, or exactly when. All they know is that she left me there with a bag of my things and left.
“I never really questioned it but as I grew up I started to long for answers. I wanted to know who my mommy is, why she left me, and above everything I wanted her to meet her two grandchildren,” she said.
Diedericks then got some information from a lady who saw her mom at a funeral.
“They were friends so they recognised one another. She says my mommy still looks the same and was dressed neatly. She was sober and didn’t look like she had problems.
“She also spoke about me having a brother who they call Boetatjie, and that she was last seen in Robinvale in Atlantis. That is why on Boxing Day I decided to take the trip to Cape Town,” she said.
With the only picture of her mother and an ID, Diedericks searched for her mother.
“We searched the entire Atlantis. People looked at the picture – some say they recognise her, but other than that we got nothing. At the hospitals there were no records of her, at the police station and Home Affairs as well they pick her up, and say they don’t have her registered as deceased.
“So I know she is alive, out there somewhere, and I won't stop searching until I find her,” she said.
Diedericks also approached Track n Trace, who have been helping her in her search before she returns to Gqeberha.
Chaz Averol Thomas from Track n Trace said they would continue to assist Diedericks and hoped they would find Jean, who also goes by the name Rafieka.
“I can’t imagine what she might be feeling, having all these questions for years,” she said.