The Hout Bay community has rallied around efforts to find a 3-year-old who went missing from Imizamo Yethu on Monday.
Dedicating time and resources, through long nights and days, they searched for Anothando Mhlobo with helicopters and sniffer dogs helped by people from all over Cape Town.
His distraught mother, Phathiswa Mhlobo, said he was last seen outside playing with other children.
He was dressed in a navy blue, red and white jacket, paired with red and navy blue tracksuit pants, and wore red and blue Spider-Man gumboots.
Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said Anothando’s disappearance was under investigation.
According to Pink Ladies, an organisation for missing children, Mhlobo has dark brown eyes with short black hair, broad nose, an average height and flat ears.
Vicky Jikwana, a neighbour, who also participated in the search, said they were desperately hoping for the boy’s safe return.
Kim Worrall, chief executive of a non-profit organisation Amoyo from Hout Bay, has been sharing live videos since Wednesday evening calling for people in the seaside town to urgently assist.
Worrall alleged community members spotted a man with the child was trying to leave the area with him.
“Several messages have been making rounds indicating the direction in which the man was moving – towards the soccer field in Hout Bay,” she said.
Worral said that residents claiming to have seen the man reported that he was wearing a black jacket and later in the search a jacket matching that description was found in the search area.
“Members of the community who claim to have seen the man have, unfortunately, not yet reported the sightings to police,” she said.
Hout Bay community activist Roscoe Jacobs requested those spreading confusion and misinformation regarding Mhlobo to stop immediately.
“If you didn’t see the boy then don’t repeat it because all this confusion can actually aid the perpetrator,” Jacobs said, adding that the search needed better co-ordination from the police and prayers for God’s intervention.
“Let me also take this opportunity to thank each and everyone who came out to help search for Mhlobo. Let us all pray for his safe return.”