Police on wild-goose chase in search for missing German tourist, Nick Frischke

Missing German tourist, Nick Frischke. l FILE

Missing German tourist, Nick Frischke. l FILE

Published Dec 4, 2023


Cape Town – Police and the National Prosecuting Authority have been sent on a wild goose chase on claims that missing German tourist, Nick Frischke, has been spotted in Plettenberg Bay.

This came on the eve of the four men believed to be behind his disappearance and robbery – which happened in February – now facing a consolidation of charges relating to his incident and cases involving other victims.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority’s Eric Ntabazalila, the person who claimed they had seen Frischke alive said he had been found speaking German and pleading for help.

“Recently, we received a media query about a tourist who claimed to have seen a young man who looked like Nick Frischke in Plettenberg Bay,” Ntabazalila added.

“Apparently the young man looked confused, according to the tourist, and repeatedly kept on saying in German, "112 kommen, 112 kommen"; which is an emergency number in Germany.

“Police have received several such tips and sightings, and they have followed up on the information, but it has not yielded any positive results.”

Igshaan Fisher, Vanroy Petersen, Carlo Guenantin and Melvin Guenantin are facing a consolidation of charges. These include claims that they breached the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA), in that they individually and collectively performed acts of criminal gang activity and had carried out a modus operandi to commit robberies with aggravation in Hout Bay.

The charges range from robbery with aggravated circumstances and the possession of firearms and ammunition without a licence or permit, relating to several victims, including Frischke.

Fischer alone is facing a housebreaking with intent to steal and theft charge.

All accused are charged with the murder of Frischke, which came to light last month (October).

The State aims to prove that on February 15, 2023, near Hout Bay, the accused with common purpose assaulted Frischke and forcefully took his belongings. These include a Redmi Note 8 Pro cellular phone and a backpack containing his bank card.

They were armed with a knife and firearm which they had pointed in his direction.

Frischke disappeared on the Hangberg trail between Hout Bay and Sandy Bay.

Ntabazalila added that a fifth suspect, Jason Abrahams, had the charges withdrawn against him. A murder investigation involving the other accused was continuing.

A second victim, whose name has been withheld for safety reasons, was robbed of his personal belongings such as an iPhone 13 Pro Max, Huawei, P40 Pro and R11 267 in cash on the same day as Frischke.

A day later, a third victim’s home was invaded and a flat-screen television with R9 000 and house keys were stolen.

Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm Pojie said police had provisionally followed up on the information but had reached a dead-end: “The information that the missing person was spotted in Plettenberg Bay had been followed up on with our Southern Cape Media Centre, as well as the Plettenberg Bay detectives, who reported that they had no record of the missing person being seen in their area.

“The question remains whether the visitors had reported their observation to the local police in order for them to immediately pursue the information.

“The status quo remains (Frischke remains missing).”

Megan Davids, of the Western Cape Health Department, said 307 bodies had yet to be claimed and were deemed unidentified at this stage at their forensic pathology facilities.

Averol Thomas, of Track Trace Missing Persons Unit, said they could not comment at this stage on the claims that Frischke had been spotted, but that they would be conducting a ground search soon to determine his whereabouts.

Frischk’s family has since offered a R20 000 reward for information about his disappearance. His mother, Jana, had handed over DNA samples to police in June to assist with the investigation.

Weekend Argus also reached out to Jana this week for comment about the sighting and charges but she has yet to respond.

She took to social media last week stating that her son had been missing for 40 weeks and that the pain of not knowing where he was, was unbearable and pleaded for him to be found.

Extensive searches for the young tourist have been carried out for the past nine months, which included residents from Hangberg in Hout Bay.

Weekend Argus