The search for a missing school teacher from Lenasia South, Gauteng, who was allegedly abducted outside her home on 22 April, has concluded in tragedy. The body of 30-year-old Naadira Vanker has been discovered in a shallow grave in the yard of her alleged killer a week after she went missing.
Police arrested a 36-year-old man on Tuesday 27 April in Phumlamqashi who led them to the site where Vanker had been buried. A second suspect remains at large.
Vanker’s mother, Nayema, told Radio Islam that the family needs time to grieve the loss of a beloved educator and daughter, and pleaded for the public to refrain from sharing any pictures or rumours relating to the case.
“I am making an appeal to the public to please stop posting any pictures or anything about my daughter because myself as a mother have no facts about what happened.”
South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said in a statement on Wednesday that the investigation into the disappearance of Vanker – who was reportedly abducted by two men who drove off in her vehicle early on the morning of Thursday 22 April – had led them to a shack in the area where an arrest was made.
She had been dressed in pyjamas and a pink gown when she was accosted, and her vehicle was later found abandoned near Ennerdale, about 15km from her home.
“The matter was reported to police and a detectives team was established, activating a search party in prioritising the case and search for the victim. On the evening of Tuesday 27 April 2021 investigation led the team to a shack in Phumlamqashi, Lenasia South, where one of the suspects was found. The suspect then pointed to the police a shallow grave inside the yard where the victim was buried.”
Masondo said that after the body was found, a police search and rescue team, as well as forensic experts, were summoned and exhumed the body. Vanker’s family later positively identified the body as that of the
A postmortem will be conducted to determine how the woman was killed, with no details about the teacher’s condition disclosed at this stage.
The Lethal Forces security company confirmed the discovery of Vanker’s body earlier on Tuesday, with Shahiem Ismail saying that the family is devastated.
“It’s one of the most saddest days that I greet you all that I can confirm that the body of Naadira has been found. I am on my way to the mortuary with the mother and the family,” he said.