Community searches for two elderly Umgababa women

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The community of Umgababa south of Durban have joined forces to support the families of two pensioners, a 62-year-old and a 70-year-old, who went missing on Women’s Day. KwaZulu-Natal police have confirmed they are investigating two missing persons cases.

 With each minute passing, without any leads around the disappearance of these two elderly women, their families are plunged further into uncertainty and grief. 62-year-old Zanele Mbuso and 70-year-old Monica Xulu disappeared without a trace a week ago, from a creche owned by Xulu in the area.

A security guard has confirmed that he saw the victims are being taken away in an unknown vehicle. This was after they had both returned from a shopping trip.

Mbuso’s daughter, Ntombenhle Dlamini says her family is struggling.

“We are really struggling, each day is a struggle, my mother has never went missing before, especially at night because we think about what she is doing, is she eating, how are they treating her. The police are being helpful, but I think as the family we would like them to frustrate things, for our side its slow but they are there and helping out. There is also an organisation that is helping us of which is renegades search and rescue. So, we are getting assistance from different people but we still feel like it’s slow because this is like a seven day and they are not at home.”

Menzi Xulu, Xulu’s grandson, says his family has more unanswered questions surrounding the incident.

“I am in pain because I am asking myself what has my grandmother done to who to be taken away from us. We have so many questions as a family, even our community know our grandmother as someone who is kind-hearted and she loves people through her creche, she has raised so many kids in our community.”

Locals and community-based organisations have joined in the search for the two elderly women.

Cedric Moodley of Renegades Search and Rescue elaborates on the combined efforts.

“You see the fact that most of the elderly people they don’t use social networks to communicates like via WhatsApp and stuff like that. When it’s comes to elderly it’s makes it a bit more difficult. We use different formats to actually find them, mainly posting our flyers and we use social networks to actually put it out there. This case is been circulated to the entire South African.”

KwaZulu-Natal police have opened two missing persons cases.

Provincial police spokesperson, Robert Netshiunda, “When somebody is missing, every second counts because as the police we feel like we are behind time. We need to find the missing person as soon as possible because we don’t want to think the worst but to think about their well-being wherever they are. Are they adapted, are they kidnapped, are they kept safe, are they eating, are they warm. These are elderly women who are defense less. Yes, we are worried about time as well that’s why we our investigations when we try and follow leads.”

Police are appealing to anyone with information that might lead to the safe return of the two pensioners to contact their nearest police station.