Omar Carrim, 76

Almost a month after Laudium businessman Omar Carrim went missing, police and his family are no wiser about his whereabouts.

Carrim, 76, disappeared early this month after he left his business Hyper City in the Pretoria CBD and went home after closing time. His family became concerned after he failed to arrive home.

When they called his cellphone it was switched off. A frantic search, including by the government, the police, family and different community groupings, followed.

A few days later his Mercedes-Benz C300 was found burnt-out and his glasses lying nearby in an open veld on the outskirts of Pretoria near the R511 road, just outside Atteridgeville. Bones were also found next to the car and they were taken in for forensic investigation.

His disappearance caught the attention of Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, who met his family.

She said a team of investigators had been appointed to lead the probe and the case was ring-fenced as a top priority. The results of the forensic tests were expected to take a week.

However, Nkosi-Malobane’s spokesperson Busaphi Nxumalo has now stated no further information had been received since that joint meeting of the police and the family during the first week of Carrim’s disappearance. “It is still quiet; if there is anything they will let us know,” she said.

One of his five sons, 49-year-old Abdullah Carrim, said at the time that he had received a call from his father, assuring him that he was okay and that he wanted his chronic medication.

And while the Carrim family hired two private investigators to assist in the case, weeks later the situation remained the same.

A frantic call to the kidnappers had been made by the family during the second week of Carrim’s disappearance, pleading with them to let the sick man be rushed to a local heart hospital for urgent surgery.

The doctors who had treated him said Carrim required immediate surgery, the family said at the time.

Police spokesperson Kay Makhubela said police were investigating a case of kidnapping.

Family spokesperson, Pretoria-based social and anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee, said they were still distraught.

He said the family had no comment at this stage. “They are just praying for his safe return,” he said.

Abramjee said he had not spoken to Carrim since that call in the first week of his disappearance. “I have no comment; we just want ‘tata’ back,” he said.