Anchen Muller, the 13-year-old who ran away from home after meticulous planning, was found by police on Tuesday evening in dangerous and appalling conditions in a shack in one of Cape Town’s most dangerous informal settlements.
She had apparently stayed there overnight on Monday, Netwerk24 reported.
On Wednesday morning, there was no sign that Muller had, just hours before, been found in the shack in the Malawi squatter camp just outside Bishop Lavis.
Residents warned Netwerk24 journalists to put away their cellphones and camera equipment.
“You’ll be robbed here,” one woman said while taking the journalists to the shack where Muller was found.
As the door opens, you are hit by the smell of a fire being made in a can. The shack is pitch dark.
A hint of light filters through when the door is opened ever so slightly.
Two beds – a single and a three-quarter – just fit into the room.
Carol Manuel, 48, and her son Marco, 29, live here.
In one corner, behind the three-quarter bed, there is a heap of clothes. According to the Manuels, Muller arrived there with a family member on Monday evening. They couldn’t say exactly how she had arrived in Bishop Lavis.
Manuel said she’d been carrying a backpack and told them that she’d run away from home.