Missing three-year-old girl from KwaZulu-Natal found in bush

Marinus Nabal giving the three-year-old girl who was found on Tuesday some water to drink. Picture: Supplied

Marinus Nabal giving the three-year-old girl who was found on Tuesday some water to drink. Picture: Supplied

Published Aug 22, 2023


A concerted effort by community members, the KwaDukuza Municipality, and medical emergency teams reunited a three-year-old girl with her family after she went missing on Monday in the Thembeni area, north of Durban.

IOL got in touch with the Ward 11 councillor in KwaDukuza, Sicelo Sithole from the ANC, who assisted the family in their search for the little girl.

Sithole said the child's mother works in Ballito and lives there due to travel complications, so the three-year-old lives in Thembeni with her aunt and the child’s elder sister, who is nine years old.

On Monday, the aunt left home at around 12pm to conduct her daily business, as she sells goods to support herself.

Sithole explained that the nine-year-old was left to look after the three-year-old.

"When the aunt returned home at 5pm, she asked the elder sister where she (the three-year-old) was, and nobody could find her. That is when the community and municipality got involved and began searching for the child.

"Nobody managed to find her, so the first thing we did the next day was contact IPSS and ask for help," Sithole said.

IPSS Medical Rescue’s Marinus Nabal with the three-year-old girl. Picture: Supplied

IPSS Medical Rescue said its search and rescue team, led by Marinus Nabal, received a call for assistance from the family at around 10am on Tuesday.

"We heard that a family was trying to locate a three-year-old girl. When we arrived on scene, I think the mother was already at the police station, so we began searching.

"There was another child who helped us look for her, as he was the last one to see her yesterday (on Monday)," Nabal said.

The child was found on Tuesday in a bush, located around one kilometre away from where she went missing.

The child is unable to speak, so it is not clear where exactly she spent the night or what happened to her.

Nabal said the child showed no signs of injuries, but was hungry and thirsty.

"Nobody knows where she was," Sithole said, adding that the child was going to a clinic for a medical check-up.