South Africa’s missing children

I found this article about missing kids in South Africa; apparently it’s a very serious problem. One paragraph didn’t make sense though:

The Pink Ladies group said less than 70 percent of missing children are found within the first week, but the rest never. The figures are conservative, they said. Many more went missing and were never reported.

So, a child is NEVER found after the first week? I understand the chances of them getting found go down the longer they’re missing, but I have a hard time believing NO ONE gets found after a week. But the idea that less the 70 percent get found in the first week is pretty scary.

Here are a few South African missing children and teens, whose posters are on the NCMEC site:

Veronique Adams, missing since 1989, when she was only a year old. She was abducted by her nanny, named Beauty. I found an article that talks about the disappearance: Veronique Adams was barely a year old when she was abducted. Her mother Junice returned from work to find the house in shambles, the nanny gone and Veronique with her: ‘The people in the street saw her walking down the road with Veronique on her back and a suitcase in her hand, and nobody has ever been able to trace her,’ says Junice.

Shaunice Robin Adams, missing since 1990, when she was a year and a half. The same article I linked to above talks about her case as well: 19-month-old Shaunice Adams was playing with her cousins. Her parents Vincent and Joyce Adams haven’t seen her since. One of the children told Joyce that ‘a woman with an orange overall’ took her by the hand and walked off with her – leaving behind a shattered family.

Maria Blaauw, missing since 1998, when she was fifteen. Classified as a runaway. I found a person by that name on Facebook, residence listed as Johannesburg, but the photos are of a white woman and the missing Maria is black.

Tracy Boucher, missing since 1998. I’m not sure how old she was, because the posters give a default DOB of January 1, 1970 when they don’t know. She appears to have been in her mid- to late teens. She apparently ran away from a children’s home, where she was sent to stay temporarily after her boarding school closed.

Sikumbuzo Cenga, missing since 2000, when he was nine or ten. He was sent out to buy bread and never came back home. I found an Afrikaans-language article that, translated by Google, says: Sikumbuzo Cenga (10) disappeared after his mother took him to a store sent. He was never seen again. The day of his disappearance he was in a blue shorts and a gray shirt dress.

Melusi Dladla, missing since 1999. No idea as to his age, though from the picture he looks to have been not older than his early teens. He left for school, never arrived there and never came home.

Lungile Dlamini, missing since 1999, when she was two. She disappeared while playing with some other children.

Charl Duister, missing since 1994, just short of her third birthday. A man her mother had laid a criminal charge against apparently kidnapped her: witnesses saw her getting into his car, and he turned up later without her and said he didn’t know where she was and she had never been with him in the first place.

Hester Du Preez, missing since 2001 on her nineteenth birthday. She was in a car with a man who said he dropped her off near her home, but she never arrived home. Like the Kimberly Moreau case.

Chantelle Gordon, missing since 1996, when she was ten. Suspected family abduction by her father; he might have taken her to Cloetesville.

Renata Ismail, missing since 1999, just before she turned five. (The poster says “Renate” but I found several articles that mention her and all called her “Renata.”) She was abducted by a strange man who climbed through the window and took her from the bedroom. A sketch of the suspect is provided.

Innocenta Lungelo Kentane, missing since 1994, when she was eight. She was supposed to meet her aunt, but never showed up.

Danie Labuschagne, missing since 2000, when he was eighteen. He had AIDS and was living in a home for people with AIDS. He just walked out one day without saying where he was going, and never came back.

Kwesi Lobeloane, missing since 1997, when he was fifteen. It looks like he ran away from home after he crashed his mom’s car.

Francois Louw, missing since 1999, when he was five. He disappeared from the farm where his uncle worked. Farm workers saw him, and then he was suddenly gone. It reminds me of the Richard Ray Barnett case.

Siphesihle Farewell McHunu, missing since 1999, when he was six. He left school without permission with a man he called “Uncle” and was never seen again. Like Bianca Lebron.

Kamogelo Mogane, missing since 2000, when she was five. Presumed family abduction by her father, who took her to London for a vacation and never returned with her.

Nobuhle Mokone, missing since 2001, when she was only six weeks old. Taken from her mother’s home under false pretenses by an unknown woman. There’s no photo available for Nobuhle and a sketch is used instead.

Mighael Myburg, missing since 1997, when he was two. He was kidnapped from his front yard by a strange man.

Mgondana Nkosi and her sister Nhlanhla, missing since 1999. The date of birth for Mgondana is given as 1984, which would have made her fourteen at the time; however, if she was fourteen that photo is seriously out of date. Nhlanhla was a year old. The girl were abducted by their father and taken to Mozambique.

Vuyokazi Nolili, missing since 1999, when she was seven. A suspect was charged in her abduction; he maintained his innocence and it’s unclear how the criminal case went.

Zephany Nurse, missing since 1997. She was kidnapped from the hospital only three days after birth. I found this article about her disappearance with a better picture, and also this article. In 2009, someone called Zephany’s family and said she had information and wanted money in exchange for it. It turned out to be a hoax perpetrated by a neighbor of Zephany’s grandmother.

Ranelle Terblanche, missing since 1998, when she was fourteen. She left a note behind saying she was running away because she was very unhappy and didn’t want to go to school anymore.

Sindiswa Jennette Walaza, missing since 2001, when she was sixteen. She was on a bus to Bloemfontein and apparently did arrive there, but vanished after that and was never seen again.

Sigh….

A woman whose sister is on Charley wrote to me and asked me to correct an error on the casefile. I did so and then wrote back saying the change had been made, and specifically told her to refresh the page if it looked like nothing had changed. She replied angrily, saying the error was still there, and then asked the law enforcement in the charge of the case to ask me to remove the casefile altogether.

I am trying to prevent that from happening, and have written to her again explaining that I’ve already done what she asked me to do and she has only to refresh the page to see it, but I wonder if I’m going to get anywhere.

So. Josh had a rotten childhood.

I found this very detailed article going into Josh Powell’s childhood and his parents’ marriage and his psycho father. Josh tried to commit suicide as a young teenager, and also threatened his mother with a knife once. His father beat him and, during the older Powells’ divorce proceedings, alienated Josh against his mother. (They made up later and she supported Josh’s bid for custody.)

[Josh’s mom’s sister] observed that the older boys had a “very distorted image of their own unquestionable right to do anything they darn well please … combined with a very deep contempt towards women in general and any authority at all” — all encouraged by their father.

And:

“With the kind of disrespect the kids have learned to have regarding laws, I worry about what they will do,” [Josh’s mom] wrote. “It seems like there is a sickness pervading my family and I have been powerless to stop it.”

Well, this is all very sad and I feel sorry for the child Josh was…but not for the man he became. People have choices. He could have chosen to behave differently than he did. He could have chosen not to murder Susan. He could have chosen not to murder Braden and Charlie. He could have chosen to go into therapy, etc., to try to fix the damage done to him when he was young. He chose the wrong path every step of the way.

Josh Powell 911 calls

I just listened to the social worker’s two calls to 911: the first, when he refused to let her into the house, and the second, where she reported that the house had just exploded into flames.

The first one is physically painful to listen to. The 911 dispatcher totally misunderstood at first and thought the social worker was the one visiting the children, and Josh was the supervisor, although she explained the situation clearly enough. The dispatcher asked questions as if he and the social worker were in an office filling out routine paperwork, a lot of it seemingly unrelated (like what was the make, model and license number of her car, and how do you spell Josh’s last name) and had her repeat herself a lot, wasting valuable time, and told her basically that the police would stop by when they were good and ready, because this was not a “life-threatening situation” or an “emergency.” Meanwhile she was trying to explain that she smelled gas and Josh had just failed to gain custody of the kids, etc. She tried to explain also that he was Susan Powell’s husband but basically got cut off there.

To be fair, time was also wasted because the SW didn’t remember the exact address and had to dig around in her car to find it, but the dispatcher wasted a lot more time with his idiotic irrelevant questions.

The 911 dispatcher says he’s sorry and he didn’t realize the gravity of the situation. No kidding. I have to compare it to one of my 911 calls in Virginia, where things got complicated because they didn’t quite know where I was and I couldn’t tell them, not knowing the area. I think my dispatcher handled things much better and got to the meat of things in good time, even though I was panicking and confused by that point.

Following his conversation with the SW and all the pedantry, the dispatcher waited another minute to send for the police, marked it as a routine call, and failed to mention about how the SW smelled gas, and how this was THE Josh Powell, husband of THE Susan Powell. The police said they would have made it a priority call if they’d known, and would have gotten there five minutes sooner.

Hindsight is 20-20, I suppose, and in any case, once Josh slammed the door I doubt the authorities could have gotten there in time to stop him from fulfilling his murderous plan. He’d already poured the gas, after all. But, I mean, geezus… The dispatcher’s name has been released to the public and of course he’s being pilloried all over the internet and the news.

If there are any emergency dispatchers or other people knowledgeable in that area who read my blog, I would like their take on this in the comments section.

I-Match progress report

I have finished with the second week of I-Match and am now back at Michael’s. I report the following items of interest:

  • The girl from Alaska (who graduated yesterday) and I have become friends and she says she will email me.
  • During the biofeedback/guided imagery session, I was able to raise the temperature of my finger by twelve degrees. Even the psychologist who was working with me was astonished.
  • Shya, Dad’s colleague whom we’re staying with, is quite a character. Four and a half feet tall and perhaps seventy pounds soaking wet, she’s convinced I’m too thin and need fattening up. She wants me to do yoga every day and demonstrated for me. At one point she lay flat on her back and, all the time maintaining this horizontal position, lifted her legs up and back and placed her feet on the ground behind her head. It was like she was made of rubber or something. I gaped at her, but she said she’d been yoga-ing every day for the past 81 years so it wasn’t really that impressive.
  • Friday was the “family meeting.” Dad was there of course and Michael drove 3 1/2 hours to be there. Basically the family members all talked about what it was like to have to deal with our suffering, and were advised on how best to help us.
  • Most importantly, they finally found for me an abortive drug that actually works and isn’t an opiate or anything like that. It’s dihydroergotamine mesylate, or DHE. DHE usually doesn’t work for New Daily Persistant headache, but it does for me, so I got lucky for once.
  • DHE is an injectable drug. The nurse taught me how to inject into my thigh and I practiced with saline, doing pretty well. However there is a big difference between extracting saline from a bottle sealed with a thin rubber cover you poke the needle through, and extracting DHE from a teeny tiny glass ampule that you have to break open. When I tried it last night, I wound up spilling half of it — twice. Not only do I of course want the full dose for effectiveness, but also DHE costs $35 a dose, so this unacceptable. On the third try I was finally able to extract most of it without spilling, but I needed Michael’s help. I suppose I’ll get better, but I only have ten doses (seven now) and don’t want to waste them.
  • DHE got rid of last night’s severe headache (Level 8 on the pain scale) entirely. (I would have accepted a Level 2 or even a 3.) But I’m not allowed to use it for more than two days a week. To prevent myself from being in agony five days out of every seven, I’m supposed to exercise regularly and do the relaxation stuff they taught me to do.

Yeah. So things are working out really well so far.