Cape Town – Two families, one from Delft and another from Klawer on the West Coast, are praying for the safe return of their children, aged nine and eight.
A Klawer church held a special service on Sunday for Jeneva Diergal, who was last seen playing outside her aunt’s house with her cousin on January 25.
The service came after an intensive search in fields and on farms proved fruitless.
Ward councillor Mathilda Bains said they were supporting the family the best way they could and had been involved in all of the searches since the child disappeared.
“Candles were lit at church as a symbol of hope and light. Although it has been more than 14 days, we still believe Jeneva is still alive. Her mother was taken away from the house by relatives as she was not coping well.
“On Saturday we had our foot patrol again and went back to the areas we searched first.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t find her. This is the first time we have had a case like this and concern is mounting. Residents are frustrated and are blaming the police, although I am aware they have really been following all leads,” Bains said.
She said she had been in the process of removing the mother from the informal settlement as it was not safe, and it was unhealthy for Jeneva, who was partially paralysed and mentally disabled.
"Jeneva was wearing a size 5-6 Barbie doll light pink jersey, size 5-6 short black tights and was barefoot. She is partially paralysed on the right side of her body.
Delft resident Siphokazi Titshala, Linathi Titshala’s mother, has been having sleepless nights since her child went missing almost two months ago.
The girl, who is also known as Nomnqindi, was last seen on December16, two days after her birthday.
At the time, she was walking to her mother’s home from her grandmother’s house in Cork Tree Street, Thubelitsha. The two houses are only three doors away from each other.
Linathi was wearing black skinny jeans, a grey top with laces at the back and black slippers.
“I miss her so much it hurts and it gets worse when I come back home from work and she’s not home, or when I see her peers going to school.
"We would spend a lot of time together in the evening,” she said.
“It’s been a while since we have been updated about the case or got a visit from the police. It feels like we have been abandoned or forgotten,” said Titshala.
Candice Sobotker of the Western Cape Missing Persons Unit said they had searched in and around the area and used all the resources available to them, but no one had heard or seen anything.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said the investigation and search for the two children was ongoing, and he appealed to communities to help with any information that they might have.
Anyone with information regarding Linathi can contact detective Nomabandla Kolweni of Delft FCS at 084 498 0696 or Saps Delft at 021 954 9000, while information about Jeneva can be given to Captain Leon Matthys at 082 334 8862.
Information can be anonymously shared via Crime Stop (08600 10111) or SMS Crime Line at 32211.