Cape Town man in court after allegedly kidnapping toddler
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CAPE TOWN: The man, alleged to have kidnapped a two-year-old girl at the weekend, will have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation ordered the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Melvin Philander, 31, from Mitchells Plain, is alleged to have snatched the toddler in Manenberg on Saturday evening.
Hundreds of community members took to the streets in search of the toddler, many immediately posting her disappearance on social media, in an attempt to find her as soon as possible.
Residents went house to house, searching and questioning people on the whereabouts of the little girl.
Speaking to the Daily Voice, Manenberg police station commander Brigadier Sanele Zama said the young girl had gone next door to the neighbour. When she did not return, her mother became concerned and immediately set out looking for her.
Zama said members of the community, the community policing forum (CPF), and the neighbourhood watch said the child was last spotted by residents with Philander.
It is alleged Philander is related to the toddler’s neighbours.
Police were soon sent to Silversands Squatter Camp, in Mitchells Plain, where Philander lives.
Zama said the child was found drenched due to the rain, she had no visible injuries but was sent for medical evaluation. Philander was immediately arrested on a charge of kidnapping.
According to the spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Eric Ntabazalila, Philander has to be seen by a district surgeon.
“He might be referred to Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital, depending on the district surgeon’s findings,” Ntabazalila said.
The matter will resume in court on October 25.