Shireen Essop: community wants answers

Shireen Essop from Surrey Estate was found three weeks after she went missing.

Shireen Essop has been reunited with her family, but the public wants to know what led to her disappearance three weeks ago.

The 34-year old from Surrey Estate, who works as a manager at Dairy Mart in Philippi, was last seen leaving work in her white Toyota Quest along Weltevreden Road near Browns Farm, on Monday May 23.

Her car was recovered several hours later in Philippi.

The Klipfontein Neighbourhood Watch spotted her walking on Govan Mbeki Road on Friday night June 10, said Manenberg Community Police Forum chairwoman Vanessa Adriaanse.

Neighbourhood watch member Dean Esau told the Cape Argus that Ms Essop claimed she had been kidnapped and needed to call her husband. He claimed police officers at the scene had ignored her.

“I went back to the police officer, explained to them who she was, and they said they can’t deal with this now and went to go buy coffee inside,” said Mr Esau.

Police spokesman Captain FC Van Wyk could not confirm whether Ms Essop had been kidnapped, or the allegations that police had ignored her.

“This office can confirm that the missing Shireen Essop has been found and reunited with her family. The details of the matter are still the subject of the investigation. We will not provide any further information.”

On Saturday June 11, Ms Essop’s family issued a statement on Facebook, expressing gratitude for her return and asking the community to continue praying for her full recovery.

“It gives me great pleasure in informing you that Shireen has finally been reunited with her family. Words alone cannot express our heartfelt appreciation for being in your thoughts and in your hearts during these dark hours. Your support and continuous prayers have given us the strength to remain positive and hopeful that the Almighty will guide her safely back home to us.”

Ms Adriaanse said that while the community and CPF were glad that Ms Essop was home they wanted answers as her disappearance had led to widespread panic.

“When she went missing, the communities were all in panic, but now the family is not speaking to anyone. The community is persistent; they want answers because we asked them to gather and pray for her when she was missing,” she said.