MANTWA COULDN’T control her emotions when she told the horror story of the three terrified girls on her doorstep.
They were tired, hungry, and shaking from cold and shock.
Off duty constable, Mantwa Kekana (49) from Chiawelo, Soweto, Gauteng said the teens told a story of hunger and fear, and how they had escaped eventually ending up at the cop’s house. Mantwa said she was still in her pyjamas on Friday morning when she heard a knock at the door. “I was greeted by three children aged between 14 and 15. They were crying and tired,” said the cop from Moroka Police Station. “They couldn’t talk and they were shaking. I took them into the house.”
Mantwa, who is known to one of the children, said she gave them a hot bath before feeding them. “The three girls said they met at the church in Lenasia after they had been taken there by their parents. They had been there for about a month,” said Mantwa. “The girls said they were given baked beans once a day, only at night, and they were always hungry.” Mantwa phoned Moroka police officers who came to her house. The kids were too scared to take them to the church, fearing they would be caught again.
The children, who come from Randfontein, Vlakfontein and Lenasia said they were left at the church by their parents. The children told Daily Sun the pastor chained them up and kept them in one room. “We only went out on Sunday to go to church,” said one of the girls. Very often they did not get food. They were given a sour liquid which gave them stomach aches.
The children said they were taken to the church, a series of shacks with one central shack, at night. “When the pastor starts praying, people fall down and speak in tongues. They sprinkle water around the church,” the girl said.
“It was very scary on the church premises.” The kids said they escaped when one of the church members forgot to lock the door. They went outside and jumped the fence. “We left other people there who were afraid to escape with us,” said the girl.
The kids said they believe they are being tracked. “Wherever we are the pastor knows, and I am afraid he will track me down,” she said. Police spokesman Captain Mpande Khoza said since there has been no official comment by the police station, they can’t comment.
Police took the children to their families. “The parents of the teenagers must come to the police station to open cases on behalf of the children,” he said.