Family concerned by disappearance of wealthy relative
Cape Town - Basil Erasmus was meticulous in his movements and would always lock his door and close all his windows.
So when his sister June noticed his window being open for two days, she knew something was wrong.
A month later, June and another brother, Carl, reported Erasmus missing. They believe that he was abducted.
Erasmus had been living with June since he got divorced about 20 years ago. He had been living as a loner where he would spend most of his time either at work or at the local pub in Athlone.
When at home, he would spend his time watching television while enjoying a few beers.
Now, six weeks after his disappearance, the family has been receiving threatening messages and videos.
Erasmus inherited tens of thousands of rand after his mother passed away two years ago. He was last seen about 6am on March 15 at the Shell Garage on Belgravia Road, Athlone, dropping off his girlfriend to take a cab to work.
Erasmus is described as bald-headed with a moustache, 1.75m tall and weighs about 130kg.
His girlfriend, who cannot be named, believed that he was abducted by someone.
’’I have no doubt that Basil was taken by someone, because he was not planning on disappearing. We were discussing getting married and had plans to spend our live together,’’ she said.
Carl said they received a very disturbing clip that was allegedly sent by Basil’s girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend.
’’The attackers hold someone down and sodomise him with a steel pipe. This is a rather violent video. They said this is what they are planning to do to him.’
“I am very disturbed by the video she received and quite shocked that any human being can do it to another. I wish that such perpetrators can be captured and punished to the full extent of the law,” said Carl.
The Weekend Argus has seen the video.
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Andre Traut said that Erasmus was recently reported missing at the Athlone police station after he had been missing for a month.
“The circumstances surrounding his disappearance are still being investigated,” said Traut.
June said her brother had a constant routine, however, after a couple weeks things seemed out of place.
“On March 15 when I came from work I looked through the window and saw Basil's window was open and that was around 8am. I thought that he might come home a bit later that day.
“The next day, while I was on my way to work, the window was still open. Thinking he maybe slept over by someone else, I ignored it. After two days the window was still open and I pushed it close from outside waiting for him to close it from inside.
“I tried to phone him from work but his phone kept ringing. When I got home and told my son he must go to the back, while I phoned Basil's phone we could hear it ring and we found that it was still on charge. That's when I knew something was wrong.
“He would never go out without his phone and he would always lock his door.
“I tried to report it to Athlone police station and they asked why I wanted to open a case as he's a grown man and if he doesn't want to be found, then he doesn’t want to be found.
“I am extremely worried because I do not know of his whereabouts. I do not know if he is okay or if he is hurt. I'm also upset that someone knows what happened to him and doesn't want to talk.
“We put a message on his phone as his status to say if anybody saw him just phone to his phone and still nothing,” said June.
Private investigator Willem van Romburgh said they had contacted all mortuaries, prisons and hospitals and could confirm that Erasmus is not at any of them.
“I had a lengthy discussion with Sergeant van der Westhuizen at Athlone SAPS and we will meet soon to discuss strategy. He is very keen to assist, and we are thankful for that.
“We have supplied him with the video and WhatsApp messages and in due course, we will arrange for the cellphone to be handed in to the police, to be examined by the SAPS experts to extract the messages and video,” said Van Romburgh.