Family pleads for missing boy's safe return

Mongezi Phike was last seen on Tuesday driving with his father in a silver grey Nissan Sentra.

FILE: His cousin Thandazo Makhonjwa says Mongezi’s mother and family members have been praying nonstop.

JOHANNESBURG - The family of a five-year-old boy kidnapped during a hijacking in Bronkhorstspruit is pleading with his captors for his safe return.

Mongezi Phike was last seen on Tuesday driving with his father in a silver grey Nissan Sentra along the R25 in Masada.

They were hijacked by four men who assaulted and tied up Mongezi's father before they dumped him and left him for dead.

The suspects fled in the vehicle and Mongezi hasn't been seen since.

His cousin Thandazo Makhonjwa says Mongezi's mother and family members have been praying nonstop.

"They are praying for their son to come back. They must bring Mongezi back. He is innocent, he's just a child, they can't punish him.

"If they were parents and if he was their son, how would they feel? So can they please bring him back."

Earlier on Sunday, President Jacob Zuma called on the public to help police find the boy.

Speaking through his spokesman Mac Maharaj the President said the child should be returned.

"We call on law enforcement authorities to spare no effort in seeking these criminals and bringing them to justice while we urge members of the community to help the police in their work so that Mongezi can be brought home safely."

"We cannot imagine the pain and sorrow that his family is going through," said President Zuma.