'We are hopeful we will find him' - Family of missing Sandringham High School principal

2018-07-20 13:05
Sandringham High School principal Philip du Plessis has been reported missing. (Supplied)

Sandringham High School principal Philip du Plessis has been reported missing. (Supplied)

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The family of missing Sandringham High School principal Phillip du Plessis say it is not in his nature to go anywhere without informing anyone.

"It's not like him to go without telling anyone. Yes, he does go to the casino once in a while, but it is very much unlike him to just disappear," his niece, Ana Saunders, told News24.

Du Plessis, 55, was last seen wearing a grey tracksuit at a shopping centre in Carnival City, where the casino is situated.

Saunders said her uncle usually goes to the casino because he gets bored as he lives alone. He is not married and doesn't have any children. The only family he has are his sisters, nephews and nieces, she added.

ALSO READ: Johannesburg high school principal goes missing

"As the family it is hard for us to cope but we won't stop handing out flyers until he is found. We believe he is protected wherever he is, and God is on our side. We are hopeful that we will find him," Saunders said.

The family said they had learned that Du Plessis left the casino at around 22:00 and that he was disorientated when he left.

Saunders added that her uncle had spoken to his sisters during the day before he disappeared.

She said her uncle adored his job, animals and the little family he had – and would never leave them like this.

Education department visits school

Du Plessis's family is calling on anyone who might have any information to contact the police.

Gauteng education department spokesperson Steve Mabona said the department had appointed the deputy principal to act in Du Plessis's place while the police investigate.

He said education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited the school on Thursday and that officials would return on Friday.

Mabona said pupils and teachers at the school were assured that they would be given support, including counselling, during this time.

ALSO READ: Kidnapped Cape Town businessman still missing as kidnappers reportedly demand 50 Bitcoin in ransom

"We were told that the principal went missing on the 4th of July and we only realised when the schools opened on Tuesday," he said.

Mabona added that on July 18, officials went to Carnival City where the principal's vehicle had been traced to and went through footage from which the principal was positively identified.

"The MEC went to the school to assure the school that they would be receiving support and to inform the acting principal that the school must be fully functional, to allow for the curriculum to continue," he said.

Police spokesperson Captain Doniah Mothutsane said a missing person case has been registered and investigations were continuing.

She said the police were following all leads.

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Read more on:    phillip du plessis  |  johannesburg  |  crime  |  abductions

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