Japhta Julius, 74, from Strandfontein, has been missing since April 25. Photo: supplied
Japhta Julius, 74, from Strandfontein, has been missing since April 25. Photo: supplied

Search continues for Cape Town man missing for 17 days

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published May 12, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - The family of 74-year-old Japhta Julius are sick with worry after their father disappeared without a trace 17 days ago.

Speaking to African News Agency (ANA), Julius’s daughter, Ceejay Mactavie, said her father disappeared on Sunday, April 25.

She said he was last seen leaving his Tunny Crescent home in Strandfontein at about 3.55pm.

“We have obtained CCTV footage from neighbours. From one neighbour we can see him leaving the house and walking down the road at 3.55pm.

“The second footage shows him walking in Walvis Way at 4pm. That is the last time he is ever seen,” Mactavie said.

She said her father was a homebody and did not have many friends, so his disappearance is very out of character.

Volunteers combing the area in search of missing Japhta Julius from Strandfontein. Photo: supplied

“The worst part is that although we remain hopeful, the days are ticking by fast and we are mindful of the worst possible scenarios, but we remain hopeful,” Mactavie told ANA.

Mactavie said her father’s cellphone has been off. Daily she tries checking whether he has made contact or whether his phone has been switched on at any moment.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk confirmed that the Strandfontein police were still investigating the matter.

Van Wyk said there were no developments to report with regards to the missing persons case.

Quad bike support in search for missing Japhta Julius from Strandfontein. Photo: supplied

Chairperson for the community policing forum (CPF) in Strandfontein, Sandy Schuter, and members of the community have not stopped searching for Julius since they became aware of his disappearance.

Schuter immediately mobilised volunteer crime fighters and they have been searching for days without end.

“The search was led by the detective and our neighbourhood watch. The CPF co-ordinated the places where they needed to go and search. This way each person had a responsibility. Every 15 minutes there was communication between parties,” Schuter told ANA.

A drone was brought in for a bird's-eye view where volunteers could not see while in search for Japhta Julius from Strandfontein. Photo: supplied

She said volunteers would start early morning with the search until the next morning between 4am and 5am, get a few hours to sort their households out and get back to it.

“Areas we could not reach like the bush area, we had quad bike support and in other areas where vegetation was too difficult to get access to, we had drone support to give us a bird’s-eye view of the area,” Schuter said.

However, as volunteers grew tired, they took to the streets with loud-hailers, searching not only for Julius but also calling on residents to volunteer in the searches.

She said this resulted in 27 residents coming on board.

Schuter told ANA that they have reached out to various media houses, hospitals and malls in the hopes that someone may have spotted Julius. However, to date they have received not one call.

If anyone has seen him, they are urged to contact his daughter Ceejay on 082 943 4212 or contact the head of detectives at Strandfontein police station on 021 370 1500/1.


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