Two months later, Anelisa is still missing

Lungani Zungu

With a smile on her face and wearing her school uniform, Anelisa Xhapha said goodbye to her family and left for school.

That was two months ago, and the 16-year-old has never come home.

Her family from Umzimkhulu, KZN, said their hopes of finding Anelisa alive are fading every day.

“It is tough for us, not knowing if our girl is dead or alive,” said her aunt Thembi Xhapha.

Thembi described Anelisa as a respectful child who had never got lost. 

“When we dish up for dinner, we include Anelisa’s plate, hoping she will walk in,” said Thembi.

She said that when she left for school that day, Anelisa was in her usual jovial mood, wearing her school uniform of a maroon skirt and yellow T-shirt.

“We pray she returns home unharmed and alive,” said her aunt.

SAPS Sergeant Pretty Maphumulo, the investigating officer in the case, has urged those who have information to call the Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

According to the NGO Missing Children South Africa, a child goes missing every five hours.

The organisation said 77% of missing children were found alive, but the others were either trafficked or found dead.

These are some of the tips from the organisation when a child goes missing:

·         Try not to panic.
·         Do not wait 24 hours to report your missing child.
·         Go to your nearest police station and take a recent photograph of the child with you.
·         Give a good description of what the child was wearing, their last whereabouts and any information that may help the police.
·         Make sure the police give you a reference number and a contact name and number of the SAPS officer(s) assigned to the investigation.
·         Remember that if your child returns home, you must report to the police station that the child is safe.