A year later, Spencer still missing

04 November 2021 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected]

Ten months after the sudden disappearance of 3-year-old Spencer Mandela Nakale in Area 7 in Lüderitz, police say no trace of the boy or details of the circumstances surrounding his disappearance have been found yet.
“The investigation is ongoing, but there are no leads yet to assist in finding the boy,” //Kharas police Deputy Commissioner Chrispin Mubebo said this week.
Spencer went missing without a trace on 28 December 2020 from an aunt’s house, where he had enjoyed a sleepover the night before. He turned 4 in February 2021.
Mubebo said the police have conducted a thorough investigation, despite the lack of results or progress to locate Spencer.
The investigation included interviews with neighbours and friends, investigating passenger records at Lüderitz’s harbour and airport, and reaching out to Interpol. “Nothing yielded results,” he said.
The regional police chief said the absence of any evidence of what happened to Spencer is “devastating, not only for the parents, but even for us. To lose a child is not easy. We continue to urge the public to share any information, even if it seems insignificant to them, to help us find him.”
He also reminded the public of the N$50 000 reward which remains in place for any information leading to discovering Spencer’s whereabouts.

Grim
As the one year anniversary of their son’s unexplained and devastating disappearance approaches, Spencer’s father Nelson Nakale clings to hope that he will come home. “I still have hope that one day I will see him again. I wish to see him, and hug him again. This cannot go on,” he said.
For Nakale, finding Spencer should be a priority not only for the police and the family, but the Namibian community as a whole. “We have to find him. A child does not only belong to a parent, a father and a mother, but to the community. Spencer is my boy, but he is also a Namibian. We must protect our people, our kids.”
Hope aside, both parents admit that the tragedy that unfolded 10 months ago has scarred their lives deeply.
“This is the worst thing that has happened in my life. I was someone with a lot of hope’ I was excited about life. But since December everything just changed. I don’t even know what the meaning of life is anymore. For the past months I feel empty inside,” mum Julia Ndafyaalako said. “I am filled with anger, pain, heartache, regret. I try to live each day as it comes, and I try to avoid thinking of what will happen tomorrow.”
Nakale said he is trying to stay strong so that he can be ready when Spencer is found.
“Since that day, I am no longer the person I used to be. But I need to be strong, so that I can fight to see my boy again.”
In two months, as many Namibians celebrate Christmas with family and friends, Nakale has only one wish. “I wish for the gift of me seeing him again. That is all I wish for. To see him, and hug him.”
Ndafyaalako says she dreads the first anniversary of her son’s disappearance. “I only hope that I will be able to survive through the next two months.”

Help us
Both parents are calling on the police, the public and specialists to help them in their ongoing efforts to find their son and to map new avenues of investigation.
They are asking for anyone who might have any information from that day, however irrelevant it may seem, to share that information with them or the police.
Anonymous tip boxes have been installed at shops in Lüderitz, where the public can share any information that could help find Spencer. “You never know, the information could help us find him,” Nakale said.
They are also urging private investigators who are willing to assist, to come to Lüderitz, to retrace the initial investigation’s steps to see if any new evidence can be uncovered.
Ndafyaalako hopes that a fresh investigation, including of harbour and airport records, could potentially pinpoint Spencer’s movements from that day.
Both praised members of the public and other organisations who have continued to distribute Spencer’s photos and information to help keep the search going.
Nevertheless, while they say the police helped initially, they are not kept up to date on the current investigation, and are not sure if work has continued to find Spencer.

Contact numbers:
Nelson Nakale: 081 219 3691
Julia Ndafyaalako: 081 695 4974
Deputy Commissioner Chrispin Mubebo: 081 268 88888

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