Website searches for missing kids

STILL MISSING: Matthew Ohlsson. unknown
STILL MISSING: Matthew Ohlsson. unknown

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

Matthew Ohlsson was nine years old when he disappeared on March 24 1997.

He had gone into the street outside his home in Mitchell's Plain, Western Cape, to collect the dustbin. He was in the company of his sister, who said she was surprised when she turned around to find him gone.

Ohlsson's case is one of the many cases that deals with daily. It is also their longest-running case.

The website's founder, Pieter Boshoff, said more children go missing during holidays because parents are more relaxed and less vigilant.

"Everyone is in a jolly mood. Predators know this. The province with the most cases is KwaZulu-Natal.

"The province has a 35percent increase in missing children this December as compared to December last year," Boshoff said.

Boshoff said on December 28 they received 10 new cases in the country, but five of them were resolved on the same day.

This year, the website managed to resolve 59 cases of missing children - 51 children were found alive and eight were found dead.

"Though the cases we have solved are a success, there are currently 940 children that are missing in the country," Boshoff said.

The website nearly closed down this month because of lack of funding, but was rescued by private companies that donated money.

Boshoff said it costs R15000 a month to run the website.

"This December, we spent R15000 in the first 10 days. So far, we estimate that we have spent about R35000."

Some of the cases that has solved include that of Lesley Mhlanga, 3, of Alexandra.

Lesley was playing with friends outside his home when he disappeared.

He was found in GaMa- botja, outside Polokwane, in Limpopo.

Sheldean Human, 7, was one of the unfortunate ones. She was found murdered on March 5 after she went missing from her Pretoria Gardens home on February 18.