Kimberley - While the search for five-year-old Keitumetse Magwadibane continued on Tuesday, a 38-year-old man has been arrested in connection with her disappearance.
Police spokeswoman Sergeant Majang Skalkie confirmed that a suspect had been arrested in Promised Land late on Tuesday afternoon and would be appearing in court soon.
A person was taken in for questioning on Monday night but he was released after police failed to connect him to the child’s disappearance.
It could not be determined whether Tuesday’s arrest involved the same person originally taken in for questioning.
The child has still not been found and the people of Kimberley have rallied together to try piece together the puzzle.
On Tuesday the city’s Executive Mayor, David Molusi, and two councillors joined the search while crime-fighting organisation Wanya Tsotsi searched every shanty in Snake Park.
Keitumetse went missing on Thursday afternoon after she and a friend went to a local tuck shop.
Wanya Tsotsi spokesman, Pantsi Obusitse, said they received information from a community member in Promised Land who saw the child with the suspect just before she went missing.
“The man was waiting for a taxi when he apparently saw the child walking a few steps behind the suspect. When the man saw the report in the DFA, he put two and two together and came forward. He indicated that the man had walked in the direction of Promised Land.”
According to Obusitse, a woman in Promised Land said she heard a child crying and a man telling the child to keep quiet.
“The police were called in and the man was arrested,” he said.
On Monday night Wanya Tsotsi members knocked on the doors of every shanty in Snake Park.
Obusitse, whose members have been involved in the search for the child since she went missing on Thursday, said they searched late into the night on Monday.
“We searched Snake Park until after midnight. We knocked on every door and asked the owners if we could search their homes. Most of them were co-operative and gave us permission, while some of them also indicated that they would assist should they see or hear anything regarding the child.
“At the shanties where there was no one home, we forced open the doors and replaced the locks when we found nothing suspicious inside,” Obusitse said.
He indicated that the search for the girl would continue unabated.
“We will continue to look until we have found her. The community has been very helpful in the search,” said Obusitse.
Sol Plaatje municipal spokesman Sello Matsie also urged anyone with information regarding the missing child to come forward.
“The mayor and two councillors went to assist in the search for the child yesterday. We commend the efforts of members of the public who have joined hands and sacrificed their time to assist the family in locating their child. We strongly believe that the child will be found.
“We appeal to any person with information regarding the matter to come forward in order to resolve the matter. Members of the public can give information to the police under anonymity,” Matsie said.
He also condemned the actions of those who may be responsible.
“This comes shortly after a young man was reported missing and his body was later discovered. We condemn the brutal murder and applaud the police for the speedy arrest. We cannot allow the city to be turned into a haven for drug dealers and other criminals. The community plays a vital part in the solving the crimes,” he said.