Headline News
19 July 2021

Northam – A young woman rocked up at Viva Garage late on Friday evening 18 June. She was barefoot and appeared to be very confused.

Suzanne Human (manageress of Viva Garage) and her colleague Candice Whiteman tried their best to get the woman to talk to them. They gave her food and something warm to put on.

Suzanne spread a picture of the woman on social media and explained the circumstances, hoping that someone might recognise her. At around 10:30 that evening the police picked her up to overnight in a room at the station rigged for victims of gender abuse. Candice insisted that they also fingerprint the women in case it might help to identify her.

Early the following morning the young woman was back at Viva Garage where employee Willem Modilane immediately gave her something to eat and drink. Suzanne and other community members started discussing the best way forward to assist this pretty but neglected young woman. The same morning, before any plans could be put into action, she disappeared just as quickly as she appeared.

In the meantime, the family of Erna Janse van Rensburg were desperately looking for her. They sent out photos and pleas for help. An employee of Platinum Weekly in Rustenburg picked up on it and immediately recognised the women from a security camera photo she saw on a community group in Northam. She contacted Erna’s family and put them in touch with those who came in contact with Erna in Northam. Erna’s aunt, Letitia Viljoen told the Platinum Bushvelder: “Erna is from Rustenburg.

She and one of her friends visited me regularly.” After not seeing her for a week, and not being able to get hold of her on her phone, she became very worried. She contacted Erna’s parents who opened a missing person’s case at the George police station.

On Sunday 11 July, Letitia Viljoen (Erna’s aunt) informed Platinum Bushvelder that Erna was found. She is currently recuperating in the Kalafong Hospital’s psychiatric ward. Although not being able to go and visit her, because of Covid-19 restrictions, they are very relieved and thankful that she is safe.

Erna’s mother, Cornelia Janse van Rensburg expressed her appreciation towards the Northam community for their care and compassion. “I thank God for answering my prayers and I thank all those involved in helping me to find my daughter,” she said.

Platinum Bushvelder plan to do a follow up article as soon as Erna is released from hospital, hoping that she might be able to shed some light on what happened to her while she was missing.


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