BREAKING: Man arrested in Maputo as case of missing Sodwana Bay skipper gains momentum

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Written By Maya Cantina

KZN police have allegedly arrested a man in connection with the mysterious disappearance of Sodwana Bay skipper John Matambu.

A man has been taken into police custody in the latest development in the intriguing case of the missing Sodwana Bay skipper John Matambu which has been building momentum with Interpol joining the investigation.

Tomorrow marks a week that Matambu disappeared like a needle in a haystack while on a charter with a mystery man on Saturday afternoon, 16 March.

His 21-foot Yeld Cat ski-boat, MAGNUM TOO, was found wrecked and burnt on a beach near the bay of Ponta Dobela in Mozambique the next morning.

The burnt-out remains of MAGNUM TOO, the ski-boat of the missing Sodwana Bay skipper John Matambu. Photo: Supplied/ NSRI

Missing Sodwana Bay skipper: Suspect arrested in Maputo

Following a false alarm on Wednesday, Zululand Observer now reported that the “original person of interest” has been located in Mozambique by authorities.

This according to Matambu’s nephew Mike Eilertsen, who is working closely with police, Interpol, local security companies and investigators.

Eilertsen revealed that a man was apprehended in Maputo on Friday evening and is currently in police custody.

The arrest comes after the police had circulated the suspect’s photograph and name on Wednesday, alerting the public to be on the lookout for him.

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Skipper John Matambu still missing

Matambu, whom locals fondly refer to as the ‘Legend of Sodwana Bay’, is however still missing.

What we know so far

  • The mystery man who chartered the boat, was out drinking at a local bar in Sodwana Bay with Matambu and other skippers on Friday night.
  • He told them that he was terminally ill and his last wish was to go out on the sea with a boat.
  • Matambu apparently then took the man to Island Rock Beach on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.
  • The ski-boat was expected to return to Sodwana Bay on Saturday afternoon, but the burn-out remains were found along the Mozambique coastline on Sunday morning – with the two men missing.
  • At 10pm on Saturday, a report was received by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) saying the ski-boat may have been spotted as far north as Santa Maria close to the Mozambique coastline.
sodwana bay skipper
Image: NSRI

How missing skipper got his ‘surname’

Earlier on Friday, family spokesperson Candice Eilertsen explained that the surname of her uncle by marriage is actually Dercksen.

“John Dercksen was renamed John Matambu by the Zulu people of Sodwana Bay, who love him dearly. ‘Matambu’ means bones, rope, tall and thin. To respect his friends, our John took the name Matambu,” she told IOL.

NOW READ: ‘Person of interest’?! Interpol on board to unravel case of missing Sodwana Bay skipper

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