Khayelitsha shooting

Police managed to rescue a woman from a flooded river in the Free State at the weekend. Photograph: The South African Files

“Where is Linathi Tishala?” – Investigators raise eyebrows on family in strange disappearance of nine-year-old

A baffling case…

Khayelitsha shooting

Police managed to rescue a woman from a flooded river in the Free State at the weekend. Photograph: The South African Files

The disappearance of Linathi Tishala has left investigators from the Western Cape police scratching their heads. How can a nine-year-old seemingly vanish off the face of the earth without a trace?

Even more so puzzling for investigators, according to Eyewitness News, are the conflicting statements made by the family, with whom she was the last alive with.

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The strange disappearance of Linathi Tishala

Tishala resides in the Thubelitsha area of Delft, a township in the eastern periphery of Cape Town. There are conflicting reports about where she was going the last time she was seen alive.

According to Pink Ladies’ Facebook page — an organisation that helps locate missing women and children — Tishala was on her way to her parents’ house when she went missing.

However, according to investigators, Tishala went missing on her way to her visit her grandmother on Cork Tree Street. Whichever version it may be, the important thing is that her family lives in the Thubelitsha area and that is where she went missing on 16 December 2018.

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It was only two day after she had turned nine years old when Tishala fell off the face of the earth. What is even more disturbing is the fact that the family has not been very helpful in providing investigators with corroborating statements.

Inconsistencies in the family’s statements

What we know for now is that Tishala was wearing black skinny jeans, a grey top and black slippers when she went missing. Between her parents’ house and that of her grandmother, nobody seems to know what may have happened to her.

Even more frustrating is that the police in Delft have committed hours in trying to locate her in the area and surrounding settlements but have not been able to pick up the faintest trace of the nine-year-old.

Candice van der Rheede from the Western Cape’s Missing Persons Unit stated that the community, as well as the family, has not been able to be of great assistance in pinning down an exact timeline of her disappearance.

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“Her grandmother was with her on the morning of the 10th saying she was taking her to her mother to go wash her. Apparently, the stepfather saw her and he went to go fetch water and went back inside but says Linathi was playing in the yard. The statements are not making sense.”

Something about these conflicting statements is just off. Did Tishala make it to the parents’ house from her grandmother’s? Who else saw her playing int the yard, as the stepfather alleged?

The questions bring no hope in investigators coming to a conclusion on the case. For now, Tishala is still being deemed as a ‘missing person’ but with time dragging on without any signs of life, the hope of finding her alive is slowly dwindling.