After four days of panic and distress, the mother of prospective honors student Sinayo Gqozo is relieved that her daughter was located in Cape Town on Tuesday night and is safe.
“We can confirm that she was reported safe and sound at 23:00 yesterday evening,” her mother, Nomzi Gqozo, said.
The alarm was raised when contact with her was lost from February 1, after she was last believed to have been in Rondebosch.
Her mother said she was located at a temporary residence in Wynberg that she had arranged, and had been in the process of arranging sponsorship and registering for her honors program.
However, she lost her belongings and her family was unable to contact her. In the busyness of getting things set up for the year, she had not made contact with her family.
Gqozo said that, with the current fear of attacks on women, the family had been worried, and was extremely grateful for the way people mobilized to help find her.
“We appreciate how people assisted us,” said Gqozo.
The murder of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana at a Post Office has contributed to parents’ terror of something bad happening to their children as they spread their wings and leave home.
Gqozo said family and friends had let the media know and shared an appeal for sightings of the 25-year-old.
She also praised the University of Cape Town, where her daughter was headed, for issuing an alert, even though she was not registered in their system yet.
“It made us appreciate that most families don’t get this kind of ending.”
However, she has a beef with the police in Eastern Cape who apparently told her that, in order to open a missing person’s case, she had to do it in Cape Town where her daughter was.
Opening an official missing person’s case gives the police extra tools to use, such as the ability to apply for permission to check a missing person’s phone records and their last known location.
Gqozo said that if that was indeed the policy, it needed to change.
“This child got lost in South Africa.”