Seven missing children were found this week.
Zakhele Kula, Kauthar Williams, Muneeb Amsterdam, Moegamat Salie Amsterdam, Gerald Fillies, Zaakirah Greenside and Carlin Hofmeester were found safe and unharmed, director of the Pink Ladies Dessie Rechner told Weekend Argus.
Rechner said “speedy action by the SAPS FCS members helped in the speedy recovery of the missing children”.
A child goes missing every 10 hours in South Africa but Missing Children SA’s statistics indicate that 77% of children are found. This still leaves at least 23% never found, trafficked or dead. Children are also the most vulnerable victims of gender-based violence.
The families of Zubakhe, 14, from Delft who, went missing from outside her Camelia Street home, and Kauthar, 15, who went missing in Strandfontein last week Friday, have had the fortune of reuniting with their missing children. Kauthar was last seen on Friday last week. According to Western Cape Gang Watch, she had left in the afternoon to visit her aunt in Strandfontein but never arrived.
She was found earlier this week. Her family requested time and space to process the ordeal.
National co-ordinator for Missing Children SA, Bianca van Aswegen, told Weekend Argus there were various reasons why children go missing.
“Kidnappings, family abductions. Those that have not been found, reasons are unknown at this stage,” she said.
While there may also be questions of human trafficking in the country, Van Aswegen could not confirm if it was a contributing factor in children who are not found.
"Human trafficking is a broad spectrum. Yes, we do deal with human trafficking in South Africa. Although I cannot comment on whether we are facing a crisis or not, I can confirm that South Africa is one of the countries that have a high number of human trafficking cases,” she added.
Recent missing children include Lunamandla Sithonga, 12, who has been missing since July 26 when she left home for school after being picked up by her scholar transport outside her Khayelitsha home.
Anothando Mhlobo, 3, has also been missing since early last month, was last seen dressed in a navy blue, red and white jacket with red and navy blue tracksuit pants, playing with other children outside his Hout Bay home.
Further afield, Boipelo Mesi, 9, went missing on September 1 playing outside her home in the Free State. Her friends are unable to give a clear description of the man who took her.
There are also children like Amahle Thabethe, who has been missing for more than a year, but her mother has not given up hope.
“When a case goes cold, the missing person case always stays open. We as an organisation have #StillNotFound flyers that we repost of cold cases with the hope that someone somewhere will come forward with information. The organisation never gives up on any of our cases.”
In a bid to help find the children quicker, SAPS has implemented an Amber Alert in association with Facebook. An Amber Alert is sent to users close to that location, who can also re-share the post in hopes that someone with information comes forward.