News24 Wire
Wire Service
2 minute read
23 Sep 2019
7:22 am

Mom flying to Vietnam ‘to trace footsteps’ of SA son who disappeared four months ago

News24 Wire

John and another South African teacher, Mushfiq Daniels, were both reported missing in Vietnam this year in separate cases.

John Bothma in Vietnam. Picture: Facebook

Four months after her son, John Bothma, disappeared without a trace in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Coleen Bothma has finally managed to secure a flight from South Africa to Vietnam where she hopes to get answers.

Coleen, who lives in Kempton Park, told News24 on Friday this was the first time she was flying overseas.

She believed John would be proud she had obtained her first passport and was brave enough to travel alone for 10 days and fly so far from home.

“I am going to get answers and to walk in John’s footsteps. To see how it feels to stand in front of the classroom where he taught, to meet the children he met,” Coleen said, becoming emotional.


She added Interpol had visited her home earlier in the week to obtain DNA from John’s razor and a pair of shoes.

Her flight was booked for Tuesday afternoon.

She still hoped for good news but prayed for strength to deal with any eventuality.

Her son has been missing in Vietnam since May 18.

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

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.

Daniels, who lived in the same city in Vietnam and had been teaching English since last year, was last seen on July 5.

Daniels’ mother, Faheema Abrahams, took to Facebook last month to say she would not give up the search for her son.

Abrahams also used her post to remind people she was remaining positive, and criticised recent reports that there were fears of criminal activity linked to the organ trade in her son’s disappearance.

“Please I am not giving up on my son,” Abrahams posted.

“A truly sad day is when [a] life means nothing. All the speculation and hype is all about sensationalism. We are basically on our own, we have been for the last month,” the post read.

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