- The family of Christo Bothma has called on South Africans to help them
- Bothma was abducted by a terrorist group in West Africa in 2018
- It is believed that Bothma passed away and his family needs SA's assistance
On 23 September, 2018, Christo Bothma was abducted by a terrorist group in Djibo, Burkina Faso, in West Africa.
The 54-year-old worked in Avocet Mine in 2014, to support his wife of more than two decades and their three children.
However, after four months on the job, just before he was set to return home, his wife, Amanda, received a distressing phone call.
"I got a phone call that Chris, the owner’s son and the driver had been abducted by one of the Al Qaeda terrorist groups and their car was found 40km from the Mali border. We were traumatised by the news and were left with so many unanswered questions. All we wanted was for Christo to come home” - Amanda said.
Briefly.co.za learned Amanda’s fears were confirmed by the mine owner, Mr Patel, who phoned and offered to pay the ransom when the kidnappers come into contact with the family.
Nearly two months after his abduction, the SA embassy in Burkina Faso called Amanda and claimed Bothma had been released.
However, the information proved to be incorrect and his whereabouts were still unknown. Amanda decided to call on the help of Dr Sooliman, the founder of the The Gift of the Givers.
Dr Sooliman visited Amanda in Potchefstroom on 22 May and he revealed that they had negotiated an X amount for the release of six captive people, one of whom was Bothma.
“They rejected the proposal and came back with a $40 million proposal (approximately R100 million per person). We were devastated. Nobody has that kind of money," she said.
The kidnappers came into contact with Dr Sooliman a second time and gave heartbreaking news - Bothma had passed away.
The Gift of the Givers founder sent a negotiator to Mali to determine what had happened to Bothma.
“On the 1st of July I received the news that Chris had passed away on the 19th of June but it wasn't confirmed. Dr Sooliman later made contact with two of his intermediaries. who confirmed that Christo had passed," Amanda said.
Amanda said she refused to believe her husband is gone without seeing his body.
The Bothma family has been struggling without the breadwinner. They're unable to cover the house bond, electricity and food.
Retha Kelly, 45, has since started a crowdfunding campaign to help raise money to support the Bothma family.
The BackaBuddy campaign has since raised over R20 000 towards the family's living expenses.
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