Gospel singer sent to rehab

2008-10-29 22:59

Johannesburg - Almost right after being found on Wednesday morning, singer Irene van Wyk was admitted to a rehabilitation clinic for alcoholics.

Irene's ex-husband and manager, music promoter Louis van Wyk, said she has had a relapse after being "clean" for about four years.

The singer was reported missing on Monday night when she did not arrive at the Vonk Music Awards. She won the prize for the best Afrikaans gospel album for her CD In U spore.

A friend found her at a guesthouse in Silverton on Wednesday morning at 08:05, said police spokesperson Aveline Hardaker.

She had been missing for almost 48 hours.

Louis said Irene only realised on Wednesday morning that she had been reported missing when she left the guesthouse to go and buy something and saw a Beeld poster about her disappearance.

She then called her boyfriend of the past three years.

The man, who only wants to be identified as Edgar, came to fetch her and took her home.

Shortly afterwards he took her to the Castle Carey Clinic in Nina Park, Pretoria North for rehabilitation.

Irene, who had been treated at the clinic on various occasions in the past, was hailed as one of Castle Carey's success stories when the clinic celebrated its golden jubilee last year.

Edgar did not want to comment on the condition in which he had found Irene.

Neither he, nor Louis, nor the police could shed any light on an SMS that the artist had sent to a female friend shortly after she disappeared. In the SMS she said she had been "caught" and assaulted.

Edgar said on Wednesday afternoon he had no idea what the background to the SMS could be.

"She'll be able to tell us when she is OK again, but now she's sleeping."