17 May 2017

South Africa: Where Is Charlotte Nikoi?

Photo: Supplied
Charlotte Nikoi, who went missing while hiking on Table Mountain on 21 March 2016.

It has been almost two months since Unicef associate director for human resources Charlotte Nikoi disappeared without a trace from Table Mountain, and her husband Chris desperately wants her home again.

As he counts the days, he hopes the next sighting of a woman who fits her description will be the woman who turned back by herself while they were hiking up Platteklip Gorge with their 16-year-old daughter.

Nikoi has received calls from people who say they have seen the warm and loving mother, only for his hopes to be dashed when it is just somebody bearing a resemblance to her.

Since her disappearance on Human Rights Day, March 21, he has looked at hospitals and travelled from Johannesburg to Cape Town to investigate more leads. He has not given up hope.

"All I can say is that I don't wish this on my worst enemy," he told News24.

The couple was celebrating the month they got married 22 years ago when she disappeared.

Presidential plea

Nikoi is also known by her Ghanaian name Nana Yaa. She had been going about her usual routine, ordering cards and planning for her older daughter Naa Kuorkor's graduation in the US on May 28. There was nothing out of the ordinary.

"My wife has no reason to want to take time out and disappear from her family. I am pretty certain," he said.

"My wife is a very loving and very caring and very responsible mother. She would not put me through this agony, and certainly, she would not put her children through it."

The couple have three children, but it only their 16-year-old joined them for a break in SA.

The three decided to go for the walk on Table Mountain on the public holiday. However, less than an hour into the walk, Nikoi said she was turning back. They had planned to meet again at the start of the trail, but she was not there.

Wilderness Search and Rescue has gone over the mountain several times in the hopes of finding a clue.

President Jacob Zuma made a plea for information about her whereabouts when he was at the World Economic Forum gathering in Durban recently.

Nikoi said his friends, office colleagues and family have tried to help him, and his sister and another friend stayed with him for a while.

In the meantime, he is spending all his waking moments trying to find her.

"You just have to keep going on. You just become like a machine."

He would like to see a bigger and more well-resourced full-time police effort to find his wife.

"I believe the government has some very specific obligations under the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act," said Nikoi, a World Food Programme regional director.

"I expect police to spare no effort and will put in the necessary resources to find her quickly."

Western Cape police said there were no new developments in the case.

Source: News24

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