Mpumalanga police have appealed to members of the public to assist in finding a 13-year-old girl and her 15-month-old niece who were kidnapped from their home in Emalahleni.
A 13-year-old learner from Leonard Ntshuntshe Secondary School and her niece are still missing after they were allegedly abducted by three men who broke into her family home on Sunday.
According to a statement issued by the police on Tuesday, the trio broke a window and gained entry into the house, where a 50-year-old woman stays with her children and grandchildren.
“Upon hearing the noise of the breaking window, the woman and her 18-year-old daughter came out of their rooms to investigate what was happening. They reportedly met the barrel of a gun and were immediately ordered to be silent,” read the statement.
“The men then took two children from different rooms, a 13 year-old-girl and a one year three-month-old baby.”
Police said the three men managed to get away with the children and that a manhunt was immediately launched.
Speaking to Inside Education on Friday, Mpumalanga police spokesperson Sergeant Gerald Sedibe said that the suspects were still at large and the search continues.
Parliament’s portfolio committee on Basic Education has expressed shock and outrage to the abduction.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Committee said it learnt of the incident during a week-long oversight visit to the schools in the province.
“The Committee was busy with its week-long oversight visit to schools in the province when it was informed by the acting school principal, Mr T Nkosi, that a 13-year-old girl who had only been in the school for eight days and who has albinism, was abducted in the early hours of Sunday morning from the family home,” read the statement.
“The abductors also mistakenly took a small baby, which they mistook for another baby, who also has albinism. Both children are still missing.”
Committee Chairperson Nomalungelo Gina said; “This is criminal. It is ridiculous that in this day and age people with albinism are not safe.”
Gina also called on the community to help find the missing children.
“We call on the community to stand together to assist in finding these children. It is the responsibility of everyone to ensure the safety of all children and learners. Children have the right to safety and security,” said Gina.
“Mr Nkosi told the Committee that the school is doing everything in its power to assist the family during this difficult time.”