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Missing Reiger Park boy: Hunt for suspect intensifies

The hunt is on for Katlego Phoku, who is suspected of kidnapping and allegedly killing Cuburne van Wyk.

Parents of Curburne van Wyk in Reiger Park. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The hunt for a man suspected of kidnapping and allegedly killing a toddler in Reiger Park has now intensified, with community members joining the police search.

Three-year-old Cuburne van Wyk went missing from outside his parents' home in Reiger Park last week and on Saturday a body was discovered in the bush behind a mine dump in the area.

The child was last seen with a man known as Katlego Phoku, also known as 'Chicken', who has since disappeared from the area.

Community members spent the weekend searching for the young boy in the township and surrounding fields.

Cuburne's father Elroy Peterson says if Phoku is found, there is only one just punishment he should face.

"If he was a real man, why doesn't he fight one of these guys? Why doesn't he fight me? Why doesn't he fight you? Men fight other men, not children. That guy is insane; he needs people to kill him. His parents will feel like I feel today."

But police have appealed to the community not to take the law into their own hands.

There's now renewed concern at the increasing number of children killed over the past month in Gauteng.

Parents in the area say they don't feel that their children are safe.

Last month four-year-old Taegrin Morris was killed while being dragged next to his parents' hijacked vehicle because he was caught in the seatbelt.

And last week three-year-old Luke Tibbetts died after suffering a head wound in Westbury in an apparent gang shooting.

Representatives of the Gauteng government are expected to meet with van Wyk's family in Reiger Park this afternoon.

Meanwhile, little Cuburne's mother Liezl has pleaded with other parents to remain watchful over their children, especially in areas rife with drug abuse and crime.

"I just want to say to all the mothers of Reiger Park, be very careful with your children."