Mother awaits repatriation of the baby as father is released from jail
In October 2019 a 36-year-old mother cried tears of joy after a man who had disappeared with her 19-month-old baby girl for almost three years was apprehended by the police.
Oratile Morris’ sunken eyes sparked to life as the father of her missing baby, 37-year-old Zimbabwean Nelson Moyo Mangena revealed that baby Betty was safe with his relatives in Zimbabwe.
Mangena who had evaded the police for three years was arrested with the help of two good samaritans, Mothusi Baipoledi and Rebonweemang Moring who trailed him for close to 11 hours until he was finally apprehended by the police in Tonota.
In an interview with The Voice at the time, a beaming Morris said she could not wait to hold her little girl in her arms again, after police promised her that they were working on the repatriation process and were to travel to Zimbabwe to bring the long missing girl back home.
Now 15 months later, Morris’ smile has turned into a frown.
She walked into The Voice office on Monday morning a broken woman.
“I’m losing hope. I don’t think I’ll ever see my daughter again,” she said as she slumped into a chair in the boardroom.
She revealed to The Voice that she just learnt recently that Mangena has been released from prison and is back in Tonota.
“I’ve never seen him, but I’ve met people who say he is back. The police also confirmed his release today and now I fear for my life,” cried Morris.
The distraught mother said her case has now taken a new twist as police have advised her to re-register the matter.
“The matter has been referred to a new officer and we are no longer talking about bringing my daughter but about re-registering the case,” she said.
“I’m not even sure if my daughter is still alive. How can they release him after it took them three years to find him?” she asked.
“To make matters worse this new officer will only be available next Monday. I’ve to cry myself to sleep for seven more days,” she said.
The Voice reached out to Central Police Station Station Commander, Superintendent Lebalang Maniki who said he was locked in a meeting at the time.
Although a questionnaire was sent to him he was yet to respond at the time of going to print.