Search continues for missing Unicef director last seen on Table Mountain

2017-03-29 13:35
Unicef director Charlotte Nana Yaa Nikoi. (Facebook)

Unicef director Charlotte Nana Yaa Nikoi. (Facebook)

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Cape Town - It is still not yet clear what has happened to Unicef director Charlotte Nana Yaa Nikoi, who was last seen walking on Table Mountain on Human Rights Day.

Despite an extensive ground and aerial search, she has not been seen since March 21, and it is suspected she may have left the mountain.

On Wednesday, Wilderness Search and Rescue spokesperson Johan Marais said volunteers worked with Skymed aerial rescue services and scoured the mountain, but there was no sign of her.

WSAR went to the spot her and husband took their last photographs on the mountain, but found nothing, Marais said.

A missing persons' case was opened with police, and the search has continued, but still with no sign of Nikoi, originally from Ghana.

Facebook activity

"We are 95% sure that she is not in the area we went to search for her. Which means she came off the mountain and was either taken away, or went away from that area," Marais said.

Her colleagues at Unicef have expressed concern over her disappearance, and the organisation Pink Ladies has circulated a picture of her.

One of Nikoi's last Facebook posts was to mark her and husband Chris's 22nd anniversary month and her plans to visit more of the Cape.

"Over 22+ years ago this month, a much younger me nervously uttered those 2 small words 'I do'," read a message, geo-located in Stellenbosch, and posted the day before she disappeared.

Accompanying Nikoi's post was a photograph of her husband.

"I recall you squeezed my hands as if to say 'Don't worry. Everything's going to be alright'. You were right of course (as your t-shirt in this photo also says!). I very much still 'do' today, and what an exciting journey we've had together since then...We've been blessed Chris Nikoi. Happy anniversary month!'" her post said.

Her husband is the regional director for the United Nations World Food Programme Southern Africa, which is based in Johannesburg.

News24 understands he is assisting police to try and trace his wife.

Congratulations flooded in for the couple after her Facebook post, and Nikoi appeared to have stayed up past 00:00, responding to them.

She gave the thumbs up to the messages throughout the early hours of Tuesday, March 21.

At 10:52, she posted in reply to a friend who said she and her husband are role models.

Her last Facebook "like" appears to be at 11:12 on Human Rights Day. After that she went silent, although messages kept streaming in.

According to Independent Online, Nikoi and her husband had planned to visit Robben Island, but abandoned the idea when they could not get tickets.

Instead, they took a taxi to Platteklip Gorge for a walk.

Her husband went ahead after she said she would be walking too slowly. It was when she failed to arrive at a rendezvous point later that the alarm was raised.

Police have asked that anybody with information on her whereabouts contact Sergeant Isaacs on 021 461 8067 or 072 560 2624.

At the time of her disappearance, Nikoi was wearing light-blue shorts, a cream, black and brown cardigan, a sleeveless black top, brown sneakers, and oval-shaped glasses.

This story has been updated to say Nikoi's husband is assisting police in their investigation after it initially stated that, according to Facebook, he was in Rome. 

Read more on:    unicef  |  cape town

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