Jane Daniels has been counting down the hours to see her son. By the end of the day, she will finally get to hug her Denzil, holding him for the first time since he went missing in 2013.
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The family of the mentally challenged young man held a memorial service for him in 2016, convinced that he had died in the three years since he disappeared.
“A part of me still held on,” Jane, 60, told News24 by phone. “I am glad I did. Now, I am on my way to see him, to hug him and tell him that I missed him every day that he has been gone.
“Deep in my heart, I believed he was out there, somewhere. I had faith that God would send him back to me at the right time. And that is what He did.”
Jane is expected to finally have Denzil by her side on Friday afternoon, after two Delft police officers took it upon themselves to get the young man back home.
Jane did not have the means to make the 1 700km commute to fetch her son after he resurfaced in eSwatini (Swaziland).
Last week, Warrant Officer Brian Daniels, took a call from the Swazi police at the Delft police station. They had searched a man found scratching through bins in the landlocked monarchy.
In his pocket, officers found a piece of paper containing a Delft address – the very address from which he went missing six years ago.
“No one knows how he got to eSwatini,” Daniels said. “But what makes all of this amazing to me is that after all these years, he will finally be coming home. This tragedy is getting a happy ending. Doesn’t it remind you of the story of the prodigal son in the Bible?” Daniels mused.
When he broke the news to Jane, she had clutched her chest and fainted.
Constable Emile Farao, who along with Daniels is responsible for missing persons cases at the Delft police station, has literally been with Jane every step of the way.
Realising that the pensioner did not have the means to fetch her son, the two tried to find funds to cover a road trip to take the long-suffering mother to the eSwatini border.
Pastor Charles George, the chairperson of the Delft community policing forum, stepped in and co-ordinated efforts to get Denzil home.
Humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers also stepped in, covering the travel and accommodation costs of the trip.
The four hit the road in Daniels’ Golf 7 in the early hours of Thursday morning, expecting to reach the border by Friday afternoon.
A welcome home party is being planned for next week.