The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) is urging residents to help find 12-year-old Lunamandla Sithonga from Khayelitsha. The young learner has been missing since July 9, with no news on her whereabouts.

Sithonga was last seen on Thursday, July 9 while making her way to Eastvale Primary School in Eastridge, Mitchells Plain. EWN reports that she was dropped off at the school gate by a taxi driver, and when he came to pick her up after school she was not there.

Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk says Lunamandla never attended any of her classes that day.

“It is further alleged when the driver who dropped her off came to pick her up she was not at school. At the time of her disappearance, she was wearing a school uniform. Searches continue,” he said.

The weekend after her disappearance, over 100 people came together to form a search party to help find her. Neighbourhood watch volunteers, residents, police and the Western Cape Missing Persons Unit went door to door in Mitchells Plain to hopefully find her.

It has now been two weeks since Lunamandla went missing and there have been no updates.

The Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez said, “We are deeply concerned that after 12 days since Lunamandla was last seen, there has still been no word about the young child’s whereabouts.”

Minister Fernandez added, “We are calling on our communities to be our eyes and ears on the ground. Please do not hesitate to contact the SAPS, or any other relevant authority if you have any information about Lunamandla. Furthermore, we would also like to thank everyone who has been working hard and actively involved in the search.

“A dedicated team of social workers will continue to render psycho-social support and other assistance to the family members and neighbours who have been affected and left deeply traumatised by the incident.”

If you any information that can assist in finding the missing child, please report it via any of the following channels:

– the Western Cape Department of Social Development (toll-free): 0800 220 250;

– the SAPs crime stop hotline: 10111;

– Childline: 0861 322 322; or

– Child Welfare SA: 0861 424 453

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