Body found at Silvermine Nature Reserve could be that of missing City staffer Alistair Stanbull

A massive operation was launched in the search for missing Alistair Stanbull. Picture: Supplied

A massive operation was launched in the search for missing Alistair Stanbull. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 6, 2024


Cape Town - The discovery of the decomposed body of a male hiker at the Silvermine Nature Reserve on Tuesday has aroused suspicions that missing City of Cape Town staffer Alistair Stanbull is dead.

This comes amid shocking revelations that investigators believe he was in fact kidnapped on the day of his disappearance in April.

The mysterious disappearance of the man implicated in a R2.5 million fraud scandal set tongues wagging as City staff embarked on extensive searches along the mountain for days.

Stanbull, who was employed in the City’s human settlements department, was due to return to the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court next Monday, facing various charges.

At the time of his disappearance, police spokesperson Wesley Twigg said Stanbull was last seen on April 29 and his car was found near Ou Kaapse Weg the next day.

“Alistair told his wife that he was going for a hike and left his premises in Steenberg and never returned.

“His vehicle was found on Ou Kaapse Weg on Tuesday morning. At the time of his disappearance he was wearing a grey long-sleeve T-shirt and khaki hiking pants,” Twigg said.

Stanbull was arrested along with another colleague in November 2022 and later released on R10 000 bail.

At the time, the State alleged that the employees of a construction company, including the directors, supplied false invoices to the City and allegedly misrepresented some of the work they charged for as being finalised.

Stanbull allegedly allowed the invoices to be authorised even though they knew the work was not completed.

Cape Argus sources said details of the investigation emerged last week, showing that the use of tracker dogs created a suspicion he had been kidnapped. The tracker dogs traced his scent across the trail he hiked. “But as the trail moved towards his vehicle, the scent disappeared. This aroused suspicions that he was kidnapped.”

Police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi said yesterday that Kirstenhof police responded to a complaint about a body discovered at a nature reserve. “They found the decomposed body of a man dressed in grey pants and a T-shirt with black boots in a stream next to the hiking trail. An autopsy will be conducted to confirm the cause of death.”

A source close to Stanbull said police were “90% sure it is him, but tests still have to be done”.

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said the area was searched extensively by City staff. “Hard to understand how he was not found then. They even deployed drones.”