Cape Town - The missing sister of murdered toddler Courtney Pieters has been found safe and sound, but will not be returned to her family.
The Daily Voice can reveal that the 17-year-old was found by the Western Cape Missing Persons Unit on Monday and will be placed in a place of safety while police investigate her disappearance.
Mikayla Pieters was reported missing at Delft SAPS on Sunday after she vanished while on her way to a friend in Elsies River.
She was last seen on Saturday afternoon by her mother, Juanita Pieters, who told police she had put her daughter on a taxi to Elsies.
Her friend waited for her at a bus stop “for hours”, but says Mikayla never arrived, and a search was launched on Sunday.
The CEO for the WCMPU, Candice van der Rheede, contacted the Daily Voice on Monday to confirm the teen was found but would not be returning to her family in Delft “because she did not want to go home”.
According to Van der Rheede, she received a phone call on Monday afternoon from a taxi driver who had read about Mikayla’s disappearance in the Daily Voice.
The driver said Mikayla got into his van, but realised she was on the wrong route as he was not going to Elsies River.
“The driver said he offered to give her money to get her to where she needs to be and she took this stranger into her confidence and told him she did not want to be with her family,” says Van der Rheede.
“She said she did not want to go home. He took her to his sister’s house where she has been safely cared for.
“Mikayla will have to open up about what is bothering her. She is definitely in a crisis.
“Social services will care for her in the interim,” she added.
Van der Rheede said Mikayla’s family were to be informed on Monday night of her whereabouts as there were concerns about her safety.
Van der Rheede and her team worked tirelessly when three-year-old Courtney went missing in March 2017 from the family’s old home in Pluto Street, Salberau Estate, Elsies River.
Courtney’s body was found nine days after her disappearance.
The family’s boarder and friend, Mortimer Saunders, 42, was arrested and sentenced to two life terms for her murder and rape.
Courtney’s family was given a home by then president Jacob Zuma to make a fresh start in Delft, where Juanita and her boyfriend, Aaron Fourie, live in the house with their children Andrea, 22, Adrian, eight, and Mikayla, who is the child of Juanita’s ex-husband.