Missing farmer: Family to hire detectivesComment on this story
Cape Town - The family of Andrew Whittingdale, the Barrydale farmer who has been missing for over a month, are planning to hire private investigators.
The farmer’s brother, Richard Whittingdale, said he had been battling with a hard-working but under-resourced police force who seemed to let two “hot” leads go cold.
“It’s enough now, we have to take matters into our own hands.”
Andrew Whittingdale, 56, owner of the Makouvlei olive farm, was last seen on January 4 on Route 62 in a white BMW.
Earlier, farmworkers had seen him get into the car with two men, apparently willingly. An SMS sent to his business partner asking for R200 000 raised suspicions and his disappearance was reported to the police.
The police have reportedly been in possession of a picture snapped by a CCTV camera of the two men who may have abducted the farmer drawing money at an ATM in Montagu on January 4. Andrew’s account had been emptied.
His brother said, Andrew’s cellphone was found near the Lesotho border.
However, the police would not confirm these reports, saying that the investigation was at a sensitive stage.
On Tuesday, the family set up a trust to fund a team of private investigators. They have called on friends and family of the “well-loved” farmer to contribute anything they can.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said there had been no new developments.