Mom of SA man missing in Vietnam hopes, prays for his safe return

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"I have never cried so much. I feel so powerless. I am just hoping and praying."

So says a heartbroken Coleen Bothma whose son, John Bothma, 22, from Gauteng, has been missing in Vietnam since May 18.

Speaking from Kempton Park this week, Coleen said that she had slept little since receiving the bad news two weeks ago.

News24 reported that he had been visiting a friend in Ho Chi Minh City. His phone has been off since then.

While there was speculation on Facebook that he might have been involved in an accident, the family confirmed that he was still missing.

"I tried a million times to call him on WhatsApp just to hear his voice. I love him so much," Coleen said.

She added that his dad had died 10 years ago, at the age of 49, from a stroke due to high blood pressure.

All that she and his sister, Leandri, wanted was to hear that John was safe ahead of his birthday on June 26.

Coleen tries to distract herself by putting all her energy into her work as a professional nurse.

She has applied for a passport so that she can travel to Vietnam at short notice.

(Supplied)

Coleen and John Bothma (Supplied)

John had been teaching part-time since landing in the south-east Asian country in November 2018, but he was hoping to secure a longer contract.

Coleen said the last six months have been the "best" for her son.

"There was no reason for him to run away. He was earning a good salary and every weekend he would go travelling on his scooter."

His aunt, Santjie Dixon, said they were receiving constant updates from the embassy.

"We are just hanging in there."

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation said diplomats were monitoring and prioritising the matter.

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