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Car of missing mother and children found in sea near Herolds Bay

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Heidi Scheepers

A search for a missing mother and her two children who disappeared on Tuesday night has ended after a vehicle resembling theirs was located in the ocean at the foot of a cliff.

By late Thursday morning rescuers found part of a wrecked VW Caravelle at the foot of the cliff in Voëlklip, on the outskirts of Herolds Bay.

The vehicle, which is totally submerged in water, was spotted at low tide when a searcher noticed a tyre sticking out from the water, HeraldLIVE reported.

By 11am police revealed the rescue had turned into a recovery operation, but confirmed no bodies had been located.

This comes after a huge search for the missing mother and her children was set to resume in Herolds Bay near George on Thursday morning.

Officially, police are stating a vehicle matching the Caravelle was located, but until the vehicle is hoisted out of the ocean, they cannot confirm it is the one belonging to the missing family.

The search for Heidi Scheepers, 35, her daughter, 6, and son, 2, comes after they disappeared at about 6pm on Tuesday, sparking a huge search operation in the Herolds Bay area.

The search resumed at first light at about 5.30am, while the tide was still out.

It came to a halt on Wednesday afternoon after parts of a vehicle — believed to be the family’s — were found at the bottom of the cliff.

Debris from the VW Caravelle — the same colour as the missing vehicle — was found on nearby rocks and the vehicle was discovered a short while later on the sea bed.

On Thursday morning, authorities had a tow truck on standby at the scene to assist in lifting the wreckage from the water and onto the nearby rocks.

The rescue helicopter, police divers, search and rescue personnel, medics, NSRI and other role players were at the site as the search continued.

Southern Cape police spokesperson Captain Malcolm Pojie said due to rough sea conditions, divers had not dived yet, but a reconnaissance of the area was done to locate more debris.

“A search was done and a car tyre was seen submerged in the water.

“A further inspection revealed that it is a Caravelle.

“Drivers went into the water but, due to rough seas and the high tide, the operation was halted pending the tide going out,” Pojie said.

“A heavy-duty lifting tow truck has been connected to the vehicle in the interim, but the car will only be hoisted up later once the tide goes out.

“At this stage we cannot confirm if any bodies are in the vehicle.”

Pojie said when the tide moved out, divers would go back into the water and the car would hoisted out.

The cliff is about 100m high and rescuers abseiled down its face, but were unable to recover any of the vehicle parts.

It was initially feared the family had been abducted, with police in the Eastern and Western Cape placed on alert.

The car parts were found near the fishing and picnic spot Voëlklip, on the outskirts of the town.

The family had gone for a walk on the beach in Herolds Bay before their disappearance.

Heidi’s husband, Ettienne, 36, had gone with them to the beach, but left on foot to check on some of his businesses.

The couple own the Herolds Bay Cafe and run the Garden Route Property Management group that manages several holiday homes in the area.

After Heidi and the children failed to return home, social media posts asking for help in finding them went viral.

By mid-Wednesday the search had shifted to the rocky cliff near the gravel road in Voëlklip.

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Look: 4 critically injured in tanker and bus crash on N3

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Tanker and bus on fire mooi river

Four people have been injured and multiple others injured when a tanker truck, a bus and other vehicles were involved in a serious crash on N3 north just before the Hidcote off ramp in Mooi River.

Netcare 911’s Shawn Herbst said that paramedics responded to the accident scene at 15H42 on Monday afternoon.

“Netcare 911 with Nsele Ambulance Services Responded to a collision on the N3 Johannesburg bound in Hidcote KZN Midlands region.

Reports indicate that a bus, tanker and multiple cars were involved in a collision leaving four people critical and approximately fourty-four other patients with minor to serious injuries,” said Hersbt.

The fire and rescue services are currently on scene trying to extinguish the fire to determine if any deaths have occurred.

This is a developing story.

Tanker and bus on fire mooi river

Tanker bus accident hidcote

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Attorney Theasen Pillay found deceased in his Umhlanga Ridge apartment

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Attorney Theasan Pillay death

Durban – Lawyer Theasan Pillay, 47, from attorneys Theasan Pillay and Associates has been found dead in his apartment on Solstice road in Umhlanga Ridge on Friday morning.

Private security company, Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) reported that they received a call at 11h34 on Friday from a relative requesting assistance after he made the gruesome discovery.

Rusa officers and paramedics on arrival found Pillay in his bedroom.

He had suffered stab wounds to his arm and chest.

“It was established that Pillay left a suicide note at his offices in Umhlanga prior to leaving the premises this morning. His employees discovered the note and called him. During a telephonic conversation he assured them that he was fine and needed some time alone. They then informed his family and requested that they check on his well-being.

His brother proceeded to his apartment and gained access with a set of spare keys when he made the discovery,” said Rusa.

Pillay’s death is being investigated by the police and updates will be shared as soon as they become available.

This is a developing story.

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Leo Prinsloo guarded Kim Kardashian amongst other high profile people

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Leo Prinsloo kim Kardashian

Pretoria – The hero guard, Leo Prinsloo, once served as a guard for former President Nelson Mandela, Prince Charles and even Kim Kardashian amongst high profile people, IOL has reported.

Deon Coetzee, MD of the Fortis Group said that Prinsloo has been in various security roles for more than 30 years now, with a 12 year career in the South African Police Special Task Force.

He had extensive training, including training with Abu Dhabi’s Anti-Terrorism unit.

In the SAPS Task Force, he was a head instructor of their lone operator training.

Prinsloo and Lloyd Mthombeni became a world topic when a video was shared on social media of them being shot at by robbers.

Coetzee said the two had been escorting a van that was transporting cellphones when they came under attack on the N4 freeway in Pretoria.

He said the modus operandi of criminals is to take out both the escort vehicle and the courier vehicle.

“In the video you see what was happening to the escort vehicle. Two vehicles with three criminals in each tried to take them and Leo took evasive action,” Coetzee said.

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“The guard in the passenger seat, Lloyd Mthombeni, was just four days on the job when the incident happened,” he said.

Dash cam footage of the incident was shared thousands of times and quickly went viral on social media. The public has hugely been amazed by the bravery exhibited by Prinsloo who managed to keep his cool as bullets rained on his van.

News agencies across the globe covered the incident showing Prinsloo’s daring escape from the robbers.

Death threats

Meanwhile, Prinsloo has been placed under police guard following death threats.

Coetzee said they have had to step up security around him following the threats.

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