It is understood the little boy’s mother had sent him away with her neighbour’s friends for the school holidays in June.
But when Warrant Officer Mikey Daniels and Constable Emile Farao found Nathaniel Jansen in bushes in an isolated informal settlement along the N2 near Gordons Bay, the boy was crying, dirty and hungry.
“He was crying a lot and said he was given a beating by the people and it was just him and the two people inside the hokkie,” Daniels told the Daily Voice.
He says they immediately took the boy for a medical examination, where it was found that he had bruises in his face and on his body, and that his feet were burnt.
“He also told us that he was made to stand outside in the rain often,” an angry Daniels adds.
The little boy has been placed in the care of social workers while police are formulating charges.
According to Nathaniel’s sister, Jamie Fransman, 27, their mother Marthina Jansen, 45, sent the boy away with a neighbour’s daughter in June and had the people’s cellphone numbers.
“But he never came back home. My mother kept calling the people and they would never answer,” she says.
“Then they claimed they sold the phone and lost track of the child.
“My mom never went to look for the child, she didn’t bother, but asked the police to help.”
Daniels explains: “The child was gone for nearly four months.
“We followed up on leads and when we visited the place on Monday, the people were not home.
“We left a letter on their door for them to contact us and they did not.”
He says they went back early Tuesday morning and that’s when they found the crying boy.
“He was in a bad state of neglect and he was dirty,” the cop says.
Daniels and Farao were hailed heroes last month when they drove in their personal capacity to eSwatini (Swaziland) to fetch Denzil Daniels, 35, a mentally disabled man who was missing for six years.
Denzil vanished while shopping at a mall with his father.
His mother, Jane, never gave up hope of finding her son, and in the six years, she lost both her eldest son and husband.
Police in eSwatini found Denzil rummaging in bins for food and he managed to tell them that he was from Delft.
They called Delft SAPS who confirmed they had a missing person’s docket for Denzil.
The caring officers washed, clothed and fed Denzil while they waited for Jane, Daniels and Farao to make the 1700km long journey to fetch him.