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Two South African Families Searching for Sons in Southeast Asia

INTERNATIONAL: Two families in South Africa have asked the South African Embassy in Bangkok to help find their missing sons. Mushfiq Daniels and John Bothma were both reported missing in Vietnam in 2019, just two months apart. Their cases appear to be connected and both families want the search extending to include Cambodia.

The Daniels and Bothma families have asked the South African Embassy in Bangkok to contact the Cambodian General Department of Immigration hoping that officials here will have more information. EAC News has contacted both the Cambodian Department of Immigration and the South African Embassy for further comment.

23-year-old John Bothma and 28-year-old Mushfiq Daniels were both working as English teachers in Ho Chi Minh. In 2019, just two months apart, both men told their families that they’d recently been befriended by an American woman. Weeks later, both men had vanished.

That was in July 2019. In September 2020, a radio station in Ho Chi Minh City reported receiving a phone call stating that 28-year-old Daniels had entered Cambodia illegally. His family and friends have rejected that report saying it would have been out of character and that they knew of no plans involving a move to Cambodia. Bothma had told his family he was thinking about teaching in Cambodia, but was last seen leaving his Ho Chi Minh guesthouse to draw cash at a local ATM. He left his passport in his room.

Media reports in South Africa suggest the men may have been caught up in an organ harvesting operation in Vietnam. South African-based charity, Gift of the Givers, which offers assistance in missing people’s cases around the world, says an organ harvesting ring was bust in Vietnam in late 2019 and believes that Daniels and Bothma may have been among its last victims.

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