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Mpumalanga SAPS asks Pienaar community to end protest

According a provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Donald Mdhluli, the protest is making it difficult for the SAPS to access the area so they can continue with the search of the missing six-year-old, Junior Mabandla.

The Mpumalanga SAPS has raised its concern about a protest in Pienaar. This follows a six-year-old boy, Junior Mabandla, going missing on Monday June 3. On Thursday June 6, some unhappy protesters barricaded the entrances to Pienaar.

According to them, they can see the police visibility in this area, but they want them to do more to find the missing child. “We are ready to assist the police with the search and do what we can to find the child,” said one community member who spoke to the paper.

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A provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Donald Mdhluli, said the protests are affecting the search for the missing Junior.

He said the police are concerned that the protesters might tamper with the route Junior took, or the scene. “We are unable to send sniffing dogs to the scene and proceed with our investigations. Instead of holding hands and working together in searching for the child, the community is barricading the road.”

According to him, they had to shift some of their resources to attend to the protest instead of using all of it for the search. “The clock is ticking and we are losing time that we could have used in our search. We are pleading with the protesters to stop so that we can proceed with ease. The protest is not in the interest of anyone or of the child. It does not benefit the child.”

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Mdhuli said the police are asking for information about Junior’s whereabouts. Contact the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit’s commander, Lieutenant Colonel Tinyiko Mnisi, on 082 079 2237 or the Crime Stop number on 08600 10111. Alternatively, send information via the My SAPS app.

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