By Anees Teladia
Police in Vietnam have officially launched a search for two South African citizens who have both gone missing in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. The latest disappearance is of twenty-eight-year-old Mushfiq Daniels from Surrey Estate, Cape Town, who has been working as an English teacher in the country. Despite the disappearances of both Daniels and 22-year-old John Bothma occurring in the same city and within a short time span, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s [DIRCO] spokesperson, Nelson Kgwete says that it is too soon to suggest a link between the two cases.
“The department [DIRCO] is following the lead that is being taken by the authorities in Vietnam in the search for Mr Daniels and Mr Bothma. The police in Vietnam have launched a search and we are working very closely with them and the families concerned,” said Kgwete.
“It’s too early to suggest a link between the two disappearances. We have not had any indication from the police on the ground nor from the evidence gathered so far, that there could have been a link, or any person or persons, targeting South African citizens living in Vietnam.”
Kgwete also indicated that DIRCO is maintaining contact with the families concerned.
John Bothma, the initial South African citizen who disappeared from Ho Chi Minh City, was reportedly last heard from on 18 May this year. He travelled to Vietnam to visit a friend and has since been missing for two months.
Meanwhile, the missing Mushfiq Daniels’ cousin, Imaad Isaacs has asked the ummah to make duah for Daniels’ safety and that the family is able to find him. Isaacs also indicated that while he is not prepared to speculate on the circumstances surrounding the disappearance, he has been provided with unconfirmed information suggesting that Daniels “may have suffered some kind of breakdown”.
“We are at a point where we have to follow up on every lead we have and keep our hopes up,” said Isaacs.
“I’m in no position to speculate on the disappearance but in his last sighting (on 5 July) he was seen passing by in quite an upset and disorientated state…we suspect he may have suffered some kind of breakdown.”
“We’ve checked hospitals, police stations and almost every other place you can think of. We’ll be expanding the search this week.”
Isaacs has confirmed that Daniels’ family is engaging with the local Vietnamese embassy and is hoping that DIRCO will follow and utilise all official channels to ensure a swift response and quick results from the Vietnamese police.