Limpopo children stoned to death: Why did nobody call the police?
7 October 2012
A reply to a DA parliamentary question has revealed that the disappearance of the three children from the Montadi Youth Centre in Limpopo found stoned to death in August was only reported to the police two days after they went missing.
Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini needs to authorise an investigation into why it took so long to report the disappearance of the missing children, and I will be writing to her again in this regard.
These children may have been alive today if the police had been informed on time. Instead, these innocent children were cruelly stoned to death by a mob.
The best chance of finding a missing child is within three hours of their going missing – the so-called “golden hours”. Chances of finding them alive decrease rapidly after this period.
In her reply Minister Bathabile Dlamini details the events that preceded the eventual reporting of the missing children to the police. By that time, the police had already discovered their bodies. It is possible that this tragedy could have been averted if the staff at the centre and the social worker were familiar with the correct procedure to following in reporting missing children.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) make it very clear that:
- There is NO waiting period before reporting a person as missing; time is of the essence so it should be done immediately. The sooner a missing person is reported to the police, the sooner they can assist in searching for him/her.
- The persons doing the reporting can follow this up by undertaking their own search, but it is essential that the matter first be reported to the local police station.
Despite these very clear guidelines from the SAPS, Minister Dlamini believes that there is no reason to set up an Inquiry into why it took two days for the disappearance of Bafana, Hosea and Johana Kekana to be reported to the police. In light of this new information, I will again write to the Minister urging her to set up an Inquiry into the tragic death of these innocent children.