Cape Town - The search for missing five-year-old Kauther Bobbs continued in Freedom Park, Tafelsig, on Monday.
Kauther has been missing since Friday and was last spotted playing with two friends at a park close to her home.
Police on Monday took Kauther's mother, Lameez Bobbs, 24, to Mitchells Plain police station for questioning.
Bobbs complained to the Cape Argus that police had focused too much attention on her as a “suspect” and not enough on interviewing people in the community.
“They treat me like a criminal, as though I killed my own child or as though I am trying to hide something. They don't understand I am also going through a difficult time emotionally,” she said.
Police were not immediately available to respond to her comments, but Dessie Rechner of Pink Ladies - an NGO that works closely with police in Cape Town on missing children cases - said that Bobbs was not necessarily being treated as a suspect in the disappearance.
“But it is very frustrating. We are looking for the right clue so that we can make a breakthrough. Sometimes in these situations parents close up and aren’t forthcoming with all the information. The stress can make them forget important details in the events leading up to a child going missing. It is important that we keep asking questions untill new information comes up,” she said.
Over the weekend, a police helicopter, sniffer dogs and volunteers from the local community policing forum and neigbourhood watch searched the immediate vicinity in which Kauther had last been seen. There have been a number of reported sightings, but none have proved reliable.
The latest rumour, circulated on social networks late on Sunday night, was that the child’s body had been found in an open field. This was described as “unnecessary” and “malicious,” by Rechner.
Albie Isaacs, the CPF chairperson in Mitchells Plain, said: “We ask people to respect the family and to corroborate information before sending it out on social networks. Our volunteers have gone beyond the call of duty. They are exhausted, and these kinds of rumours waste our time and resources.”
At the time of her disappearance Kauther was wearing a pink top with a tinker bell print, blue pyjama pants and dark blue crocks.
Anyone with information should contact Detective Warrant Officer Faizal Meyer at 082 522 1066 or Dessie Rechner at 0722147439 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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