In the broader context of so many missing and abused women and children in South Africa dominating the news, Knysna also experienced both joy and tragedy in two local incidents over the past week which underpins the countrywide crisis.
While the grim discovery of a body last week might have accompanied a sense of closure for a Plettenberg Bay family whose teenage girl disappeared in April this year, a Knysna family had reason for joy when their missing girl was found this week.
Although details were still unclear at the time of going to press, police have confirmed that the remains of 18-year-old Sandisiwe Mona* were found in a forested area in Ladywood about a week ago, reports Knysna-Plett Herald.
Plettenberg Bay police spokesperson Captain Marlene Pieterse said the girl went missing between 6am on April 8 and 2pm on April 13.
According to Pieterse, Mona’s grandfather had sent her to an ATM to withdraw money.
“She came back home and her grandfather then went to their neighbours. When he returned home, the girl was gone,” Pieterse said, adding that she had left her cellphone at home.
Her family organised a two-day prayer meeting which started on Wednesday and was set to continue on Thursday in Kwanokuthula. Prayers were scheduled for between 6pm and 6.30pm, and her funeral is due to take place in Joubertina in the Eastern Cape on September 14.
Meanwhile, the search for missing 16-year-old Knysna girl Ambrosia Leen, who was reported missing on August 30, was called off after she was found.
The girl returned home on Monday, on the same day that the case had been transferred to the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit (FCS) based in George.
Knysna police spokesperson Sergeant Chris Spies said all incidents involving juveniles are normally investigated by the FCS unit.
Spies thanked all the role players who assisted in the search for her.