More kids missing over holidays

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

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

He had gone into the street outside his home in Mitchell's Plain in the Western Cape to collect the dustbin. His sister went with him and when she turned around, he was gone.

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

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

"Everyone is in a jolly mood, predators know that and they prey on the children.

"The province with the most cases is KwaZulu-Natal. The province had a 35percent increase in missing children last month compared to December last year," Boshoff said.

Last year, the website managed to solve 59 cases of missing children. Fifty-one children were found alive, but eight were found dead.

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

The website nearly closed down at the beginning of last month because of lack of funds but was rescued by private companies which donated money. Boshoff said it costs R15000 a month to run the website. "Last month we spent R15000 in the first 10 days. We estimate we have already spent about R35000 for the month."