Cold case of missing Shevonne Matthews re-opened after claims she was living in Mitchells Plain

Missing nine-year-old Shevonne Matthews. Picture: Supplied

Missing nine-year-old Shevonne Matthews. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 30, 2023


Police have confirmed that they have reopened the cold case of nine-year-old Shevonne Matthews who went missing while playing in a park in Athlone 21 years ago.

This was actioned after the family received allegations that Shevonne was living somewhere in Mitchells Plain.

Following her disappearance, Shevonne’s mother Jacqueline, fell on hard times and landed up living on the streets.

Jacqueline Matthews is the mother of Shevonne Matthews who went missing in Athlone in 2002. File Pictures: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

This week, provincial police said that Jacqueline visited the Athlone police station and asked for police to relook into the case of her only daughter.

Police spokesperson, Captain Nowonga Sukwana said: “Athlone Police are investigating a missing person’s case after the child’s mother reopened the case.

“Police are searching and the investigation continues.”

Missing nine-year-old Shevonne Matthews. Picture: Supplied

Manenberg police spokesperson, Captain Ian Bennett said that in most missing persons cases, the docket was never closed.

“Every case has a brought forward case and they relook for evidence or new information,” he said.

Weekend Argus was informed by persons close to the investigation that the news article published in May 2021 on Shevonne’s disappearance, had been shared on social media which had been the catalyst for the latest developments.

Shevonne’s aunt, Kathleen, said they had been receiving mixed information about the case which prompted Jacqueline to reopen the case.

“There were claims that Shevonne was spotted in Mitchells Plain. People from the missing persons unit fetched the mother and took her to the Athlone police station to reopen the case. If that person is her, she will be a grown up by now,” she said.

Jacqueline has been living on the streets for the past two decades. She became addicted to alcohol and could not look after Shevonne who was adopted by a woman named Katy Matthews.

Katy died 10 years ago.

During the Easter school holidays in 2002, Shevonne mysteriously vanished on April 16 while playing in a park.

During the interview with the Weekend Argus, Jacqueline vowed to turn her life around if Shevonne made it back home.

The family had travelled as far as Durban to search for Shevonne after they received a tip-off that someone there had resembled her, but the trail went cold.

Weekend Argus