Child found after five-week 'abduction'

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

Sakhelwe township in Dullstroom, Mpumalanga, celebrated the safe return of a seven-year-old girl five weeks after she was abducted.

Nomthandazo Yvonne Skhosana, a grade two pupil at Mpilonhle Primary School, was reunited with her family this week after a woman abducted her and kept her in a shack.

Nomthandazo was allegedly abducted while on her way home from school.

The police found her with her alleged abductor in Belfast after they received a tip-off. She was found unharmed.

Her father, Johannes Skhosana, 32, said she was found shortly before she was due to have been taken to Mozambique.

"[The abductor's] Mozambican husband, who is in Mozambique, demanded that they have their own children because she could not have children.

"She decided to steal my lovely daughter and raise her as her own in Mozambique," he said.

Skhosana said: "I still find it difficult to believe that she is permanently back with us after we suffered as a result of her sudden disappearance.

"We never lost hope that she would one day return safely. Life in the family was no longer the same without her."

He said her mother, Selina, 25, had to give up her training as a traditional healer because of the abduction.

"I have never been this excited. I wept tears of joy at the news of her safe return. Everybody at school, including pupils, were uncontrollably excited.

"As part of the celebration, we have organised a prayer service that will include the local community, which was also involved in the search, to thank God for her safe return," said Nomthandazo's teacher, Zandile Maphanga.

Constable Kwapa Rankwe, of the Dullstroom police, said Siwela Dumakude, 32, has been arrested in connection with the abduction.

Dumakude has appeared in the Belfast magistrates' court.