Free State toddler Liam still missing – dad to be sent for psychiatric evaluation

2018-10-04 16:33
PHOTO: Supplied

PHOTO: Supplied

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Nearly a year after the abduction of the toddler, the boy’s father who’s suspected of being involved in the kidnapping, will be sent to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation.

The father of Liam Nortjé (3) appeared in the magistrate’s court again in Harrismith in the Free State on Tuesday. Nantes Nortjé, who’s been charged with kidnapping his son, applied for bail a second time – unsuccessfully.

Police spokesperson, Sergeant Mmako Mophiring, confirmed to YOU that Nantes, in whose care Liam was when he went missing in November 2017, is still refusing to say where his youngest child is.

Mophiring added that Nantes’ lawyers had requested the state send their client for psychiatric evaluation.

“Next, it needs to be established which facility has a bed available for him,” Mophiring says.

The case has been postponed until 19 October.

At Nantes’ previous bail hearing in August, Mophiring told YOU the 47-year-old has zero chance of being granted bail as long as he refuses to provide the state with answers. She added that so far, all he’s done is deceive police.

YOU previously reported Liam was last seen visiting his dad in Kestell in the Free State.

Nantes’ estranged wife and Liam’s mother, Cheinelle, had told him at the time she wanted a divorce. The couple, who’d been separated for some time, also have two teenage daughters together. Cheinelle says Nantes told her she could forget about seeing Liam again. He’d also left her a scorched lock of Liam’s hair.

Nantes had been unemployed for some time before Liam’s disappearance and according to Cheinelle he hadn’t made any effort to support his family. She’d been the breadwinner.

After disappearing with Liam in November last year, police eventually found Nantes in July this year in a township of Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, and arrested him.

But Liam was nowhere to be found. One of the possibilities is that Nantes had left the boy in the care of someone else, who’s hiding the boy. At this stage no one is prepared to believe the worst has happened.

Tania Opperman from the South African Support Initiative (SASI), an organisation specialising in finding missing persons, says it’s a criminal offense to hide a child from his caretakers. She asks members of the public who might have information to call her on 084-830-1031 or to send an email to



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