policeman goes missing

Dan Fuphe

Dan Fuphe

Family and colleagues of a crack police detective are still baffled by his mysterious disappearance nearly a month ago.

Jotham Elias Mthethwa, 46, pictured, of the KwaThema detective squad in Ekurhuleni disappeared on May 3 at 7am after booking in a state vehicle he had used for night duty.

KwaThema police spokesman Enoch Dube yesterday said the last contact Mthethwa had with his colleagues was that morning.

"On the day of his disappearance, Mthethwa was his usual self and showed no signs of stress or anything like that.

"After logging in the state car, he drove off in his Citi Golf, registration HWB 293 GP," he said.

"No one has seen or heard from him since."

Dube said that everything possible was done to trace Mthethwa's last known movements.

The police had visited all his friends and the places he was known to have frequented, but all to no avail.

"His sudden disappearance is also beginning to have an adverse effect on his elderly parents who came all the way from KwaZulu-Natal to be close to the investigations.

"A few days after he went missing we called him on his cellphone but it was on voice mail. After two days of continuous ringing, the phone eventually went dead," said Dube.

Mthethwa, who joined the SAPS more than 15 years ago, was a respected and highly efficient investigating officer.

Dube would not say whether Mthethwa was working on any particular or sensitive case that could have earned him enemies.

"Police officers, especially detectives, are always working on cases, whether sensitive or not," he said.