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Cape Town -
A 74-year-old Kuils River man has disappeared while travelling between Cape Town and Joburg on the Shosholoza Meyl train.
Henri van Niekerk has taken the same train trip every year since he retired from the railways. But on Friday, while travelling with his friend, Basil Leseur, Van Niekerk disappeared.
His son-in-law, Jurgen Visser, said no one was sure where Van Niekerk had gone missing. “He last spoke to his wife at 10pm on Friday and he told her they were in De Aar. But his friend told us that when he woke up at midnight, he realised that Henri was not there. He told the people on the train and they started searching for him.”
Visser said the search continued when the train arrived in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon, but Van Niekerk was nowhere to be found.
On Monday, the family received Van Niekerk’s luggage. “Everything was there, except his pyjamas. It means he must have been wearing his pyjamas when he went missing,” Visser said.
The family were worried that he might have been thrown off the train or fallen off. Police and helicopters were searching between De Aar and the Orange River.
Despite requests, Shosholoza Meyl had not commented at the time of going to press.
Dessie Rechner, director of The Pink Ladies, an NGO which assists in finding missing people, said anyone with information should contact Sergeant Binedell at Kuils River police on 021 900 2845 or 079 894 1561.