Family fears for missing mom

SOYISO MALITI

It took Kuils River police a week to take a statement from the boyfriend of missing mother, Zarah Hector. They also took as long to conduct forensic testing on a knife he found in the car she drove before she went missing.

Ms Hector had not been heard from since Tuesday March 15 after she left to drop off the BMW Z3 belonging to boyfriend, Mark Kleinsmith.

That was before her 9am shift started at the Oostenberg Lodge. But she never made it.

Speaking to Northern News, Mr Kleinsmith said cops only took his statement yesterday morning, seven days after Ms Hector was last seen. He said he found the knife in the car on Friday.

Mr Kleinsmith also took Ms Hector’s hair brush, which he collected from her workplace recently, to the police yesterday so they had a sample of her DNA.

He said no one was willing to give him an explanation about why the knife he found in the car – recovered in Observatory on Thursday March 17 – wasn’t found the police.

This has raised his suspicion that “someone must have buggered up”, he said.

On Friday, Mr Kleinsmith said the “medium-sized” knife he found “wasn’t the type of knife a person carries around”, and definitely didn’t belong to his missing girlfriend.

He added that police only lifted fingerprints from the car on Tuesday. He said the police’s silence on the case has left him worried.

Kuils River police station commander, Colonel Pieter Galant, and spokesman, Captain Isaac van Niekerk, were on leave at the time Northern News sought comment.

An email from the Kuils River police station directed us to Mfuleni police station spokeswoman, Captain Nomathemba Muhava, who referred us to the provincial media office. The provincial media office had not responded to queries relating to the latest developments at the time of going to print for this edition.

Ms Hector, a receptionist, had reportedly been sleeping over at her workplace at the Oostenberg Lodge in Kuils River since the beginning of the week which she disappeared.

She was in the process of moving into her own flat.

Provincial police spokeswoman Nasiphe Same confirmed the case, but added last week that Kuils River cops needed help with the case.

Denise Baillie, a manager at Oostenberg Lodge in Kuils River, described Ms Hector as “quiet but very intelligent”.

Ms Hector had just been employed permanently at the lodge after a year working as a part-time receptionist.

Ms Bailey said her disappearance had taken its toll on the lodge and that staff had been “heartsore and broken”.

Several of her friends and family members have been sharing news links about her disappearance on social media, urging anyone with information to report to the police.

The last time Ms Hector, 33, was seen, she had been wearing white pants a brown top and sandals.

* Police urged anyone with information to contact Sergeant Andries Binedell on 079 894 1561.