A police search party on Friday morning led to the discovery of two children who had been reported missing on Thursday night, Pretoria police said.
Police spokesman Captain Daniel Mavimbela said the children, aged 5 and 10 were reported missing last week when they failed to meet their father at a restaurant as arranged.
There were fears that something had happened to the children when it emerged that they were at the Tambotie block of flats. However, it turned out that they had gone to a friend's house there and they were found unharmed.
Mavimbela said the search party consisted of uniformed police, detectives, crime intelligence and officers from the local Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offenses Unit.
"Led by the head of visible policing, Colonel Nishan Moodley, the search party reacted swiftly after the children were reported by their father as missing on Thursday night. A chill went down the spine of the local police service when reports emerged by Friday morning that the children could be held at the Tambotie block, however, a meticulous investigation led the children to be found unharmed, "he said.
Later it emerged that the father had told the children to meet him at a local fast food outlet, but upon not finding him as agreed, the children went to a friend in Tambotie where they had hoped to get a meal.
The following morning the friend overslept and could not take the children to school.
"The police are warning parents and guardians to exercise more caution and rather fetch their children directly from school than expect the latter to negotiate their way through overcrowded streets like those in areas like Sunnyside. Failure to take reasonable precautions could result in parents facing child neglect charges and subsequently lose custody, "he said.
Mavimbela added that members of the public should "reject with contempt" suggestions from anyone who says that a search for a missing person can only be started after a day.
"It is nothing but a myth," he said.