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Police await DNA results

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“We do not want anything to be posted without any proof or permission from the family.”

MISSING: Rehana Moshoeshoe.

THE NORTHERN Cape police have not closed the missing persons docket that was opened for Rehana Kwena Moshoeshoe, the Kimberley Girls’ High pupil who was last seen nine years ago.

She would have turned 25 years old on August 15.

Family members have meanwhile requested the public to refrain from sharing photos on social media of a girl of the same age, who was found living in Pretoria, for some time, who bears a striking resemblance to Moshoeshoe.

“We do not want anything to be posted without any proof or permission from the family.”

A video was posted on YouTube of the girl in question, who was previously interviewed for a television documentary, where she gave an account of her life living on the streets of Pretoria.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba yesterday confirmed that the police had sent samples for testing and DNA profiling to determine if there is any genetic match between the two young women.

“At this point we do not wish to speculate until the results are made available. We are unable to release any other information, as this matter should be treated sensitively.”

He stated that it was impossible to predict when the test results would be released, due to backlogs at the forensic laboratories.

“The investigation is still ongoing and we have not closed the missing persons case.”

Missing Children South Africa said they were also awaiting the DNA results.

“We are still posting Moshoeshoe’s flyer online, on Twitter and Facebook, in the hope that she can be traced. Since her disappearance no one has contacted us with any leads regarding her whereabouts. We work together with the police in trying to find persons who were reported missing and have a high success rate because our posters are distributed all over the country.”

The organisation pointed out that it was not normally possible for any forensic tests to be fast-tracked, regardless of the urgency or profile of a case that is sent for analysis at the laboratories.

“In some instances DNA results are only released after three years because of the huge backlogs. It is very difficult to put a time frame on when the tests will be available. Until then we do not wish to make any assumptions until there is conclusive evidence. It does not necessarily mean that if two people look alike that they are the same person.”

A DNA profile of Moshoeshoe was compiled in 2011 following her disappearance on February 21, 2010, when she never returned home after informing her mother that she would be meeting a friend in town.

Despite an extensive search that was conducted by the Hawks, Kagisho Detectives and the Kimberley K9 search and rescue unit, where drains, sewer pipes and graveyards were searched, she was never found.

The accused Frans Oliphant was sentenced in the Northern Cape High Court to 36 years’ imprisonment for various charges including the kidnapping of Moshoeshoe, as well as rape, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and attempted murder involving other complainants.

Since his incarceration, Oliphant has steadfastly refused to divulge any details regarding Moshoeshoe’s disappearance, despite several attempts from her family to speak to him.

Several phone calls and text messages were made from Oliphant’s phone to Moshoeshoe, including on the evening following her disappearance.