Neighbours had called the police about Lindiwe Mzizana when they were concerned about her children. Their concern was well founded, as it appeared that her two young daughters weren't actually her children. The woman's story had changed several times — she was an aunt, a family friend — but a DNA test had proven she wasn't a blood relative. The girls hadn't been able to provide enough information about their parents to help police track them down and were currently in foster care.
Wolf absently twisted her labret as she scrolled through the data. The officer in control of the case thought that the girls may have come from West Africa and had issued bulletins to all relevant embassies to see if the children's parents could be found. There had been no word so far.
A check on Nkosinathi Ngema, the friend Mrs Mzizana was staying with, turned up a similar colourful history. He had counts for petty theft, GBH and domestic violence. One incident of domestic violence included a brief note that, while they hadn't be hurt, the woman's child had been visibly afraid of the man.
Aside from the usual round of charges, it appeared that Mr Ngema had brought himself to the attention of Customs and Excise for dodgy imports. As none of the items confiscated meant much to Wolf, she printed off a copy for reference.
Picking up the phone, Wolf made a call to the officer in charge of the case. It turned out that the good Mr Ngema was trafficking in muti, items used by traditional healers in South Africa, some of which were on the prohibited list for importation.
Following the officer's suggestion, she called Professor Winston Barnes, who often consulted on cases involving muti and arranged for a meeting.
Looking over the notes she'd made, Wolf still couldn't pinpoint why she was concerned. She picked up the phone and called her brother. "You keeping an eye on the lad?"
"Yeah. I'm back in the park." Declán watched Samuel as the boy ran by with the football, a horde of small boys chasing after him.
Wolf shuffled her paperwork into a neat pile and slid it into a folder. "Cool. Info is still a bit sketchy so far, there's nothing concrete to warrant calling in Social Services, but I don't want Samuel going home. Can you keep the lad company for a while longer?"
"Sure. What's going on?"
"I'm not sure, but something isn't right." Wolf told him about the history of the boy's mother and her friend. "Luckily, it's garbage night, so I've sent someone around to swipe their bin bags. They'll be here in half an hour. Once I've gone through it, I'm going to have a personal chat with this Professor Barnes."
Wolf hung up and stared at the screen, willing the information to start making sense. When it declined to co-operate, she sighed to herself, grabbed a box of gloves by the door and headed down to the garage. With any luck a rifle through Mrs Mzizana's garbage would give her some idea of what was going on.
15minuteficlets — word #96: vitriol
moonbeamsfanfic — challenge: declán and a child
Part of the Sangoma!verse and the Wolf&Declán!verse