Eighteen-year-old Afika Hoho from Ezibeleni, who was reported missing, safely returned to her family on Friday following a frantic search by police and community members.
The Rep reported (“Family’s plea to find missing Ezibeleni girl”, November 22) that the grade 11 Bulelani Senior Secondary School pupil was last seen studying for an exam in her room that Friday evening.
Speaking to The Rep, Hoho’s mother, Zanele Hoho, said they had found her daughter in Lady Frere after a person who had only identified herself as ‘Abongile’, sent a text message to one of the family members. “The person, who had apparently found contact details of my daughter’s uncle on Facebook, claimed that she knew where Afika was and indicated that she was safe. Police were able to trace the number. We found her, unharmed, in a house full of other girls in Cacadu.”
Hoho said, according to her daughter, she had slept at the police station on the night of November 8 and was dropped off the following morning. She did not return home, but instead took a purposeless walk and ended up in Cacadu. “She said some girls who had noticed her wandering in the streets of Cacadu took her in and gave her a place to stay. I am happy she was found unharmed as I can now sleep peacefully. I thank everyone who supported us in assisting with the search.”
Police spokesperson Captain Namhla Mdleleni said the police quickly responded after receiving a lead on the girl’s whereabouts. “She was found in a house headed by a young girl. Police, together with the community of Ezibeleni, could not sleep after two children, including Afika, were reported missing. Athi Malangeni, 18, who is disabled, was also reported missing and was brought to the police station by a farmer who noticed him roaming around the streets. Both children were found unharmed,” Mdleleni added.