Seeking closure, Imizamo Yethu family want police to identify body found in area

Anothando Mhlobo disappeared in August while playing with his friends in the area and his mother is convinced that the body found last week is his.

Phatiswa Mhlobo says that all she wants is confirmation from authorities that the body found in Imizamo Yethu is her son Anothando, so that the family could get some sort of closure and give him a decent burial. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The family of a three-year-old boy who went missing in Imizamo Yethu is desperately awaiting feedback from authorities after a body was found in the area.

Anothando Mhlobo disappeared in August while playing with his friends in the area.

Last week, a body was found in a rocky and sandy area by a resident, however, the police could not confirm whether it was indeed the little boy as an autopsy and DNA testing have yet to be completed.

However, the child's mother is convinced it is her little boy and wants confirmation from the police.

An Imizamo Yethu resident, who was collecting sand, made the gruesome discovery while digging.

"I dig, I dig... [after filling] about six buckets, I found a jacket underground. When I got it out, I found the other bones... I found a body with no head."

Mphathi Mabala, in a state of shock at realising what he'd found, alerted other residents and they notified the police.

The police still have to determine the identity of the body but little Anothando Mhlobo's mother believes that it is her son.

Speaking through an interpreter, Phatiswa Mhlobo, explained that she's convinced that it's her child, with the body found about 100 metres from her home.

"When the child was found, he was wearing the same clothes the last time they were in each other's company. A navy tracksuit with white stripe, and red pants."

She said that when the body was discovered, a Spiderman gumboot was found, a boot that the toddler owned.

The mother said that all she wanted was confirmation from authorities so that the family could get some sort of closure and give him a decent burial.

'OUR CHILDREN ARE NOT SAFE'

Meanwhile, the Imizamo Yethu community is still shocked following the discovery of the body.

Community leader Samkelo Krweqe said that the discovery of the body had left many residents worried.

"We know that the child was found but we're still waiting for all the protocols - the DNA testing and all this - and I can't even tell the people in a proper way and say: 'Guys, the child that we were looking for, we've discovered now.'"

Krweqe is urging authorities to provide feedback on the investigation.

"My appeal to the SAPS, is that we need quick assistance with regards to this child. When you find human remains, let alone the child was wearing the same clothing as Anothando was when he went missing, he should have been taken faster to the family to make peace, if that is their child."

He is also calling for more recreational facilities and activities for children especially, over the holiday period.

"Our children are not safe, so we need to take extra precautions. We are also saying to government, when the school closes they must be able to provide children's programmes, so that we can keep the children busy. You can see the areas that we live are not safe. They sneak around... you think your child is playing there but your child has been abducted, someone is doing something with your child."

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