Three minor children who were reported missing have been found and reunited with their parents‚ after being located at a family member’s home in another village‚ police said.
The South African Police Service condemned the family’s irresponsible behaviour.
Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe from the Limpopo SAPS said the children – two aged six and one aged 12 – were reported missing on Saturday at Lephepane village.
The police in Maake outside Tzaneen in conjunction with other roleplayers launched a massive search operation for them.
They were found in a family member’s home at Mogoboya village.
“It was alleged that the children left their home village of Lephepane to go and visit their aunt at Mogoboya village‚ which is about 15 kilometres from their home‚ passing a mountain‚ and they never arrived there.”
Police ascertained that on their arrival at the aunt’s house‚ they proceeded to another family member’s house to watch TV. Ngoepe said they ended up sleeping there without informing the aunt and other family members until they apparently heard that the police search operation for them was on.
“Members of the community are once more advised and encouraged to take care of their children in full. Child safety must always come first at all times to prevent these type of incidents from happening.”
Ngoepe added‚ “You cannot allow such young children to walk for a distance of 15 kilometres alone. That is uncalled for and it must not be allowed by any parent or guardian.”