A woman who went missing from her mother’s dwelling in the Booysens informal settlement south of Johannesburg on Tuesday has been found living in a safe house under police protection.
Malekhotla Litelu, 18, went missing on 5 May and was found a day later, requiring medical assistance.
Hilary Leong, chairperson of Awareness for Child Trafficking Africa, said she has known Litelu for some 10 years and that, during this time, she had been raised in a shelter. Leong was closely involved with Litelu’s upbringing until she was reunited with her family upon turning 18 in December.
She apparently left her mother’s home in Booysens for reasons unknown and didn’t take her cellphone with her. She is also taking prescription medication, which she left behind.
The following day, she contacted and was found by a former teacher and taken to a nearby hospital as she required medical attention, after which the police relocated her to a safe house pending an investigation into her disappearance.
Leong would not divulge any details surrounding the reasons behind Litelu’s disappearance, stating merely that she would assist her in the days ahead.
Police are investigating the circumstances that led to her disappearance as well as events that transpired while she was missing.