Be vigilant: Too many children are going missing in South Africa
5 Sep 2018 FAMILY
By: Natasha Archary
At the time this article was published, the decomposing body of a boy fitting Miguel Louw’s description was discovered. Miguel went missing on July 17, when he was allegedly kidnapped walking home from school in Sydenham, Durban. His mother’s pleas to the man arrested in connection with his disappearance fell on deaf ears.
Police took Mohammed Ebrahim into custody as he was the prime suspect, CCTV footage showed him escourting Miguel into a taxi. He had in his possession, Miguel’s birth certificate and other documentation which led police to believe he was involved in trafficking the child.
Almost seven weeks after his disappearance, the Louw family may finally get the closure they need, however grim that may be. Miguel’s name will not be forgotten, along with the hundreds of other children who go missing in the country every month.
Last month, Johannesburg was rocked by the gruesome discovery of a nine-year-old girl who was found raped and her lifeless body dumped on the Golden Highway next to Lehae. The little girl was reported missing on August 18.
Earlier this year a picture of a little girl duct-taped and shoved into a box went viral. The caption, “Stop human trafficking” with a description that claimed that this is how children are being trafficked into the sex trade industry out of South Africa. It went on to say that a child is stolen every 30 seconds in the country. According to Africa Check, if this were true 2,880 children a day would be reported missing. That’s 84, 000 a month, over a million a year.
The above message sparked outrage and caused an online frenzy. The statistics may have been incorrect but one missing child is one too many. The point is children are going missing, regardless of the rate it is a reality. Child trafficking is also a stark reality. One that we can no longer ignore.
What’s shocking with most child disappearance cases is that parents or caregivers claim they just turned around for a second. Blink and you miss it, that’s how fast perpetrators work.
There’s no such thing as being overly paranoid as a parent. It’s important to know where your children are at all times. To never leave them with people you don’t know personally or trust. Especially when out in public spaces, never let go of your child. There have been rumours circulating of children being ripped from their parent’s arms or hands. Whilst there’s no supporting evidence in this regard, with all that’s happening, is it really something worth ignoring?
Why are our children being targetted by these perverted monsters? When will it end? How many more families will need to go through this before something is done about it? What are we doing as a country except failing our kids?