The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) is working hard to trace two South Africans who went missing earlier this year.
23-year-old John Bothma from Gauteng and 28-year-old Mushfiq Daniels from Cape Town were working as teachers of English. They never met but disappeared under similar circumstances from Ho Chi Minh City.
Bothma last spoke to his aunt on May 18. He was supposed to fly back to Johannesburg in early June. However, his passport was found in his room. All the known details of his disappearance were gathered by Jody Kurash, his girlfriend, who has set up a Facebook page called Find John Bothma.
As for Daniels, his family last heard from him on July 3. Right now, his mother, two brothers and one more close relative are in Ho Chi Minh City looking for any new leads.
“Officials at the South African embassy in Hanoi are in contact with the Vietnamese authorities. Local police have launched a search to trace Mr Daniels. The embassy is also in contact with Mr Daniels’ family members who are currently in Vietnam,” DIRCO spokesperson Nelson Kgwete advised, adding that they were also trying to trace Bothma.
According to a Facebook page created to aid the search, Daniels was last seen on July 5 and looked as if he had “suffered a breakdown causing distress and disorientation.”
A scary theory has been brought up by Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, the founder of NGO Gift of the Givers, which joined the search last week.
“There’s a shortage of organs because Vietnamese people don’t believe in giving up their organs, they believe that all their body parts must come with them to the afterlife. It sounds that if that these people are captured they can make big money from organ harvesting,” Dr Sooliman explained. “From everything we have seen in both these cases, it doesn’t seem likely to be anything else. We are hoping there is still a chance to save them.”
He promised to do whatever he can to assist the families and try to get to the bottom of this.