Nearly a year after the disappearance of a Cape Town toddler, police are now offering a R30,000 reward for his safe return.
Ivakele Imvano Yeko from Somerset West, who is now 15-months-old, was last seen on December 5, 2022, at about 1pm.
He was five months old at the time of his disappearance.
The Khayelitsha Family Violence, Child Protection, and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit is calling on members of the public to come forward with any information they may have.
The provincial police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi, said the child’s caregiver handed him over to an unknown woman at the South African Social Security Agency's (Sassa) office opposite the Ultra Liquor store in Somerset West, along with his five-year-old sister.
“It is alleged that the suspect befriended the caregiver and offered to buy them food and chips. The woman later dropped the sister on Main Road in Nomzamo. The five-year-old walked home after being dropped off near her house. She was taken for a medical examination and found to be in good health.
“At the time of his disappearance, Ivakele was seen wearing a red T-shirt with a nappy,” Swartbooi said.
The case was reported at Somerset West police station and transferred to the Khayelitsha FCS Unit for further investigation.
Swartbooi said preliminary information suggests that the child might have been seen in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal.
Anyone who can assist with information that will lead to the safe return of Ivakele is kindly requested to contact the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Asanda Hlana, on 082 301 8553, Lieutenant Colonel Denver Kamalie at 082 334 8370, or alternatively, Crime Stop at 08600 10111.