A five year-old girl is missing after a group of 10 other Malawians she was travelling with were attacked by a hippopotamus in Limpopo River as they tried to cross into South Africa using an illegal entry point two weeks ago.
The Herald of Zimbabwe reported on Monday that some of the Malawians sustained minor injuries in the attack.
The paper quoted Limpopo Police Spokesperson, Colonel Ronel Otto, who said the girl and her mother were part of a group of 11 Malawians who wanted to enter South Africa illegally near Beitbridge border post on New Year’s Eve.
“Along the way they were chased by a hippopotamus and some sustained minor injuries. They ran away in all directions and since then the five-year-old girl went missing.
“Despite extended searches nothing has been found yet. Members of the South African Police Search and Rescue Unit as well as the Air Wing intensified search operations during the weekend,” Otto said.
The mother of the girl is said to have reported the matter to police after she tried to look for her without success for a week.
Malawians and other nationalities face a lot of problems when crossing Limpopo River. Some are attacked by hippos and crocodiles while others drown or are attacked by criminals who pretend to help them to enter South Africa illegally but instead rob, rape, or kill them on the way.
Citizens from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi flock to the rainbow nation to look for greener pastures and there are thousands of them staying in South Africa illegally.
Meanwhile, the South African government has stopped deporting illegal immigrants from Malawi but it is still arresting them.