Durban - Drug dealing may be the motive behind Sydenham schoolboy Miguel Louw going missing.
Members of the Sydenham Heights community made the allegation in voice notes that have circulated on social media sites this week. It was also the belief of private investigator Brad Nathanson, who recently took an interest in the case.
“It seems like all roads lead to drugs in this case, which is common in cases of child and human trafficking,” Nathanson said.
In two voice notes heard by Independent Media, Miguel's mother is repeatedly linked to the man accused of her son's murder. Allegations of drug use are also repeated in both clips. The source of these clips have not been verified and therefore Independent Media will not publish either of them, nor provide transcripts of the contents.
Louw’s family has questioned the authenticity of the recordings and the allegations.
Miguel, 9, went missing on July 17, and police believe that the body wearing school clothes, and found in a shallow grave in Phoenix on Monday, could be that of the Rippon Primary pupil.
DNA testing has been conducted to ascertain the identity of the body found.
Skeletal remains were found metres away from the home of Mohammed Vahed Ebrahim, 43, who has been charged with kidnapping and theft in relation to Miguel’s disappearance.
It emerged in court previously that Ebrahim worked with Miguel’s mother at a Phoenix butchery and the pair had a close bond.
Ebrahim admitted that he had taken Miguel and his sister’s ID documents from their Sydenham Heights home for “safekeeping”.
Ebrahim, through his attorney, said he found Miguel at his school and took him to a nearby KFC outlet after Miguel said “there was no food in the house”.
After leaving the takeaway, Ebrahim said he boarded a taxi and let Miguel walk to his home nearby.
The Louw family, including Miguel’s father Kirk, has strongly criticised the recordings.
When questioned about the recordings, Kirk’s sister, Claudette, said: “How can yo
u say something so troubling at a time like this?”
Nathanson, who joined the search for Miguel last month, believes the body was planted deliberately near Ebrahim’s home to pin the blame on him.
Forensic investigations into the murder are under way, and a post-mortem was conducted on Tuesday.
“If investigations point to the mother’s involvement in the murder, then she will be questioned,” a police source said.
Family spokesperson and attorney Vasthi Williams said the family did not know whether to mourn their child yet. About the recordings, William said the family was looking into how the voice notes originated and what appropriate action they needed to take.
Williams did not comment on the content of the voice notes.
“Raylene (Miguel’s mom) is being brave about it. It is irrelevant and has no bearing on the case. Everyone has their breaking point. If they are prepared to say these things, then they must accept the consequences of their actions.”
DNA samples were taken from members of the family to test whether the boy found in a shallow grave was Miguel.
Candlelit vigils have been held across Durban for the boy and his family, where community leaders have urged parents and neighbours to take care of their children.