A Delft mother and her family are devastated after an unknown assailant beat up and abducted her 18-year-old daughter in front of her home in the Suburban area in Delft a week ago. Lelethu, affectionately known as Lele, is doing Grade 11 at Simunye High School in Delft.

Cape Town - She was last seen being beaten up and dragged away by an unknown man. Now the family of a Delft teenager are desperate for her safe return.

Noxolo Xabakashe, 49, said her world fell apart after the beating and abduction of her youngest daughter, Lelethu Xabakashe, 17, in her family yard a week ago. “If I sit and do nothing, I think about my daughter and what happened to her, struggle to breathe and cry a lot.”

Xabakashe said they had opened a case with the police and are now praying for her daughter’s safe return.

Lelethu, affectionately known as Lele, is in Grade 11 at Simunye High School in Delft and was last seen by a group of friends before she was allegedly attacked and abducted by an unknown man around 12pm last Saturday.

“I want those friends that she went out with to speak up and tell the police what happened. They all have the same story that she went to Khayelitsha.”

Xabakashe said she does not believe the version of events told by friends and said she hoped that the police could question them further.

“The police are not doing anything. They don’t look around for her.”

Xabakashe now blames the police for failing to track down her daughter despite getting a witness account of the abduction.

Tony Blankenberg said he heard Lelethu bang the gate and scream out the name of another tenant staying in Xabakashe’s yard.

“I peered through the glass window and saw the man wrestle with Lele as she tried to break free from his grasping hands until he overpowered her,” he said.

Blankenberg added: “First the man beat her up with a big stick until she fell down. Then he gagged and picked her up before leaving with her dangling limply from his big shoulders,” he said.

“I was shocked and scared and couldn’t do anything.”

Lelethu’s sister, Ntombethemba, said she has been trying to call her sister’s number since her disappearance, but her phone goes straight to voicemail.

“The neighbours helped us to look for her in the bushes close by, but we didn’t find anything. We even went out with a dog and weren’t able to find her. We are very worried and wish God will bring her back to us.”

Lelethu was last seen wearing All-Star takkies, navy tights, a brown and navy top and a black collarless leather jacket.

Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said the kidnapping was reported at the Delft police station and that police were investigating the matter.

“Further information cannot be disclosed at this stage,” he added.

Cape Argus