Marceline Spandiel Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Marceline Spandiel spent Women’s Day at a children’s home in Malmesbury. Deserted by the most significant women in her life, her mother and grandmother, and separated from her twin brother, Marcelino.  

The brain of Marceline’s mother has been ravaged by tik and she isn’t aware that the 11-year-old from Uitsig was moved to Malmesbury. This took place two days after the runaway had been found and placed in a safehouse on July 25. 

Marceline’s grandmother, Tracy Martin, 73, has signed over guardianship to child services because she and her twin brother would no longer listen to her and kept walking away. Martin looks after Marceline’s mother and has temporary custody of Marcelino.

“Marceline is in Malmesbury at a children’s home and no one from the outside is allowed to see her at the moment. She has been separated from her twin brother,” Pastor Adam Alexander, from the Uitsig Care Mission, who has worked with Marceline and her twin for some time, said on Thursday night.

“She is also attending school in Malmesbury. Two days after she was found after running away, the social workers moved her to Malmesbury. 

“Her twin brother is living with his grandmother and he is not going to school yet. I am exploring how I can support him and find a school for him.”

Asked whether Marceline would remain in Malmesbury indefinitely, Adams said: “I hope Marceline’s stay in Malmesbury will only be temporary.”

After Marceline and her brother kept running away from a children’s home in Stellenbosch earlier this year, they were temporarily placed in their grandmother’s care again. 

But aside from trying to visit her father, who lives on the streets, she also sought solace with other Uitsig runaways at a “hokkie” near Parow train station. Marceline’s twin brother refused to board a train with her when she ran away on July 10.

The social workers hope by moving her to Malmesbury, which is 59km from Cape Town, it will prevent her from running away again.