Port Elizabeth - A missing Paarl woman’s friend, who was arrested nearly a week ago in Port Elizabeth in connection with the theft of her mother's car, will be taken back to her home town so that he can appear in a court there.
Jacobus Oosthuizen, 32, a friend of missing Nicola Pienaar, 28, made a brief appearance in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Friday so that the case could be transferred to Paarl.
He had initially appeared in the Port Elizabeth court on Monday on a provisional charge of vehicle theft.
During that appearance, he indicated that his intention was to plead not guilty.
Oosthuizen was arrested last Saturday outside a KFC drive through in Port Elizabeth. He was found sitting inside a gold Peugeot that belonged to Pienaar's mother.
Pienaar was last seen on January 5, when she left her mother’s home in the Peugeot, and was officially reported missing by her mother on January 8.
Her mother opened a case of motor vehicle theft, as the car is in her name.
At the time of Oosthuizen's arrest, police said the Peugeot had been packed with clothes and other items.
They said Oosthuizen had claimed that he and Pienaar had been travelling together in the vehicle to Port Elizabeth, but had had an argument and he had dropped her off in Oudtshoorn on January 7.
Pienaar is still missing and the police investigation into her disappearance is ongoing.
Oosthuizen is set to appear in the Paarl Magistrate’s Court on February 2.