Search still on for missing pupil

Lunamandla Sitonga went missing on Thursday July 9.

Community organisations are working with police in their efforts to find the Eastville Primary School pupil who went missing on Thursday July 9.

Since the disappearance of Lunamandla Sitonga, 12, from Khayelitsha, The Pink Ladies, Mitchell’s Plain SAPS, local neighborhood watches and non-profit organisations have conducted organised searches in Eastridge, Mnandi and a section of Khayelitsha.

Secretary of the Mitchell’s Plain neighbourhood watch, Deidre Petersen said they would not give up.

Lunamandla was last seen when she was dropped off at Eastville Primary School in Eastridge on Thursday July 9.

She went missing some time between 8.15am and 2.15pm and was wearing her Eastville Primary uniform when she was last seen.

Provincial police spokeswoman Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said there had been no new developments in the search for Lunamandla.

Bronagh Hammond, spokesperson for the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) described Lunamandla’s disappearance as “devastating”. All pupils have to go through a screening process before entering the school, she said, but her name was not recorded.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and those that are participating in the search. We are hopeful that there will be a breakthrough soon in the case,” she said.

A psychologist and social worker has been at the school to provide support, she added.

A team of social workers from the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) has also visited Lunamandla’s family.

“We are deeply concerned that after 12 days since Lunamandla was last seen, there has still been no word about the young child’s whereabouts,” said Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez who called on the communities to be the eyes and ears on the ground.

“A dedicated team of social workers will continue to render psycho-social support and other assistance to the family members and neighbours who have been affected and left deeply traumatised by the incident,” said Ms Fernandez.

“Please do not hesitate to contact the SAPS, or any other relevant authority if you have any information about Lunamandla. Furthermore, we would also like to thank everyone who has been working hard and actively involved in the search,” she said.

Lunamandla’s mother, Anella Jack, was too upset to speak to the Plainsman when we called her.

If you have any information that can assist in finding the missing child, call the Western Cape Department of Social Development (toll-free) on 0800 220 250, the SAPS Crimestop hotline on 10111, Childline
on 0861 322 322, Child Welfare SA on 0861 424 453 or Mitchell’s Plan FCS Unit Detective Sergeant Welcome Nkenke on 021 376 9871 or 082 522 1066 or Pink Ladies organisation on 072 214 7439, 083 378 4882 or 08600 10111.