By A Correspondent- Cops are investigating the deaths of three children who were found floating in a river on Tuesday, 7 September.
The bodies of Nonjabulo (9) and Themba Ngomane (8), and neighbour Katlego Sibande (15), were found in the Mohlaletse River, outside Groblersdal in Limpopo.
The three left their homes in Ga-Phooko Village on the morning of Monday, 30 August to go to school, but never returned. They might have been kidnapped as they were allegedly seen getting into a white Toyota Avanza.
Provincial police spokesman Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said a missing persons case was opened and cops, assisted by villagers, immediately started a search. He said a kidnapping case was opened after reports of the children boarding the Avanza emerged.
“A herdsman walking along the Mohlaletse River found the three bodies floating and called police. The children, still dressed in their school uniforms, were retrieved by search and rescue members.
“The deceased were identified by their families and a post mortem will be conducted to determine how they died,” he said.
Nonjabulo and Themba’s aunt, Staffnurse, (50) said the family had hoped they’d be found alive.
“Everyone is a mess at home and can’t accept they’re gone. We are shattered and I’m speechless.”
Katlego’s father, Michael Rakgwatla (41), said he was heartbroken.
“The family is devastated as we were not expecting this to happen.
“We don’t know how we’ll heal from this tragedy,” he said
Limpopo police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe ordered a speedy investigation into the circumstances leading to the kids’ deaths.
Councillor Rose Ratau said the community was very angry.
“Villagers tried to block roads in protest, but we’re trying our level best to control the situation.”
Social Development MEC Nkakareng Rakgoale said she was concerned about the increasing number of missing people in the province.
“We’ve sent a team of social workers to start providing psychosocial support to the family.