Maria (13) one of 236 missing Gauteng kids

WHERE ARE YOU? Maria Maphoroma is missing. 
20091112VNH,    13 year old  Maria  Maphoroma who went missing on Thursaday.PHOTO:VELI NHLAPO.
WHERE ARE YOU? Maria Maphoroma is missing. 20091112VNH, 13 year old Maria Maphoroma who went missing on Thursaday.PHOTO:VELI NHLAPO.

MARIA Maphoroma is one of more than 200 children who have gone missing in Gauteng over the past six months.

MARIA Maphoroma is one of more than 200 children who have gone missing in Gauteng over the past six months.

Maria, 13, went missing six days ago after leaving her class during school.

The Grade 5 pupil at Bryanston Primary School was last seen at a nearby petrol station, where she and a friend bought some sweets.

Her friend Thabiso Mkhize, 10, was found a day later.

Maria's heartbroken mother Agnes Maphoroma says though she has received a lot of support from the public, she now fears the worst as days pass without a trace of her youngest daughter.

Police spokesperson Inspector Moses Maphakela said investigations into Maria's disappearance were continuing.

According to Childline Gauteng more than 200 children where reported missing in the province between April and September this year.

Director Lynne Cawood said: "The biggest fear is when the child is picked up by a commercial sex ring."

She said children who had been missing or abducted had told them that pimps knew how to spot vulnerable children.

"The pimp pretends to be their friend and very often gives them drugs," she said.

Cawood said that of the 200 missing kids in Gauteng, 76 were abducted, 52 ran away and 108 were missing or lost.

"Most of the children go missing because of miscommunication between them and their parents," she said.

Cawood said that children were making themselves vulnerable by running away from home.

"Children should not be alone, especially at night, because Gauteng is a dangerous place," she said.

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