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04 October 2011 at 11:35 - Posted by Anonymous

Two-year-old boy stolen with bakkie found


Dennis Twala stands in his yard in White City, Soweto, from which his bakkie was stolen with his two-year-old son in it. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee

It was the worst 24 hours of Dennis Twala’s life. The Soweto man’s nightmare started when his Nissan 1400 bakkie was stolen outside his house – with his two-year-old son inside.

Dennis Twala, 48, of White City, Soweto, had spent the whole of Sunday and most of Monday morning scouring hospitals, mortuaries and police stations in a desperate search for his son Lindokuhle.

The drama started on Sunday morning when Twala was about to drive out of his yard with the child inside his white Nissan 1400 bakkie.

After picking up some food and extra nappies for the child, Twala locked the house and went to where he had left his vehicle – only to find that his bakkie had been stolen with the child inside.

“For a moment, I thought I was dreaming. I had the car keys in my hand, but my car and my son were nowhere to be seen. I think I temporarily lost my mind because I immediately ran out of the yard to start looking for my son.

“I ran from street to street and I suspect people who saw me thought I had gone beserk. I just could not allow myself to stop running with the hope that I may spot my bakkie with my child inside. It was the worst feeling I’ve had in my whole life, something I would not even wish on my worst enemy,” said Twala.

The bakkie was apparently fitted with a gearlock, which has led Twala to speculate that the thieves are “real professionals”.

After a sleepless Sunday night, Twala was up early on Monday morning to continue his search for his son and bakkie.

It was around 3pm when he got a call from a woman in Molapo, about 5km away, to report that a baby had been found abandoned in an open veld. The woman had heard Twala’s story, which had been broadcast on the local community radio station.

“When we got there, we did not even want to ask… further questions. It was just a huge relief to find that my son was still alive,” he said.

When The Star arrived at his White City home late on Monday afternoon, the child had been taken to a doctor for a check-up.

“As far as we can ascertain, he looked fine, but we are not taking chances… his mother has taken him to a doctor to have him examined… You don’t know how relieved I am,” Twala said.

The registration of the stolen bakkie is MLN 479 GP, and it has sporty alloy wheels.

Twala appealed to anyone with information about the bakkie to contact the nearest police station.

“I do not have a monetary reward for now, but promise to do something for anyone who can help me trace my vehicle, which may lead to the arrest of the callous thieves who got away with it with my son inside,” he said.

The self-employed man operates a business in the Free State with his older brother. Though he is now stranded with no vehicle to use for his business, Twala said that a car could be replaced, but that no one could replace a life.

Soweto police spokesman Captain Mpande Khoza was unable to confirm the case as he was not aware of it. - The Star

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