Mystery surrounds missing student

2010-10-04 22:49

Cape Town - A student who is working towards a doctorate in chemical engineering has been missing since he booked into a guest house on the West Coast last Wednesday.

Jaco Kotze, 26, from Welkom, a student and part-time lecturer at the North-West University (NWU) in Potchefstroom, arrived at the guest house in Hondeklip Bay last Wednesday and was planning to spend the night there.

Rob Meintjes, owner of the Skulpieskraal Tented Lodge, confirmed on Monday that Kotze had booked in at the lodge at about 18:00.

"He put his things down in his tent and even came to ask where he could go for a walk along the beach.

"I showed him where it's safe to walk," said Meintjes.

Kotze then went for a walk but never returned, and hasn't been seen or heard from since.

Meintjes said they suspect he walked to a big boulder known as "Spitfire".

"We think a huge wave must have knocked him off the boulder."

No foul play suspected

According to Meintjes he started to worry when he still hadn't seen Kotze by Thursday afternoon.

"We had a look inside his tent and it was clear that he hadn't slept there."

Meintjes then went to the police where he reported Kotze as missing.

Gerrit Cloete, police spokesperson in Springbok, confirmed on Monday that there's a large-scale search operation underway.

The community of Hondeklip Bay have been searching for Kotze almost non-stop since Thursday.

On Saturday the police called for backup from Upington and a police helicopter was also deployed to help in the search.

Kotze's mother, Margie Kotze, said on Monday that the last time she spoke to Jaco was on Tuesday night.

"He was at Olifantshoek in a caravan park. He even told me he was going to switch off his cellphone and only switch it on again to phone me."

She said that's why she didn't find it strange when she didn't hear from him for days.

"We don't suspect any foul play. His wallet and cellphone were still locked in his car," she said.

Must have been an accident

Karel van der Westhuizen, student chaplain at the NWU campus, said Kotze's favourite quote (according to his Facebook profile) - "When you die, may it not be before you have lived" - describes the way he lived.

"Jaco did everything with passion. He was definitely not depressed. All I can think is that there must have been an accident."

The last time he spoke to Kotze was on Wednesday morning.

"I had to do some banking for Jaco. Later that afternoon I received another SMS from him."

When he tried to contact Kotze again later, he wasn't able to get hold of him.
 

Read more on:    cape town  |  drownings
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.