Ricochet News

Joy as missing Motherwell toddlers found unharmed

By Afikile Lugunya - Feb 28, 2019
Joy as missing Motherwell toddlers found unharmed

The three toddlers that were reported missing in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth, were found unharmed. Two relatives, Linamandla Zenzile and Othandwayo Zenzile, and their friend, Nande Nombewu, were reported missing on Tuesday afternoon.

The police worked tirelessly to find the toddlers, but it was a relief when 21 hours later, the three children were found alive and ecstatic to be re-united with their parents. 

A massive police search for the missing children started on Tuesday night - after an earlier search in the afternoon by residents had failed to locate the kids. It continued throughout the day of Wednesday with police searching bushes, doing door-to-door enquiries and following up on any and every information received from the community.

"It is alleged that on Tuesday, at about 12:15 the children were last seen playing in an open field near their house," described police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu.

"At about 15:00,  the parents realised they were missing and went to look for them on their own with no luck, they then contacted the police at 22:00."

All missing Motherwell toddlers found safe

Colonel Naidu said that the first child,  Linamandla  Zenzile, was found  at about 14:25 sitting on a weighbridge by workers at the Amanzi quarry, which is situated between Uitenhage and Motherwell.

"SAPS Uitenhage was alerted – the child was fetched and taken to SAPS Motherwell.

"Immediately, the search shifted to the quarry area and apart from SAPS re-enforcements, more community and Metro Search and Rescue with their dogs volunteered their assistance and the dense bushes were searched.

"At about 19:00, SAPS Motherwell members were in the quarry combing every space possible when, at about 19:06, Lt Col Jesvin Arends and W/O Francois Marais went behind  a sand dune and heard the whimper of a child.

"The two children - Othandwayo Zenzile and  Nande Nombewu were found lying on the rocks on the ground.  They were found almost 7 km from their home."

Colonel Naidu said that all three children are at the Uitenhage Hospital undergoing  medical examinations.

"It was overwhelming to see how the communities from all over the Metro offered their assistance in whatever way possible to find these children.

"People came straight from work and joined the search. We are just glad that these children are now safe and reunited with their parents," police commander, Maj Gen Rabie, said..

"We urge parents to be extra cautious and to know where their children are at all times. Children as young as these should never be left out of sight."

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