Major breakthrough in the missing KZN skipper case

In a major breakthrough, it has been confirmed that ‘the person of interest’ in John Matambu’s missing case was found in Maputo and is in police custody for questioning.

Authorities made a major breakthrough with the arrest of Ferdie Visser

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

Matambu, whom locals call the “Legend of Sodwana Bay, went missing while on a charter with an unidentified man on Saturday afternoon, 16 March.

The following day, searchers found his 21-foot Yeld Cat ski boat, MAGNUM TOO, wrecked and burnt on a beach near the bay of Ponta Dobela in Mozambique.


The search for Matambu entered its sixth day on Thursday.

National police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said earlier that local police authorities were working closely with Interpol and the police attaché to facilitate cooperation between the two governments in the investigation.

Meanwhile, family spokesperson Candice Eilertsen clarified 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 … and to respect his friends, our John took the name Matambu.”

Candice Eilertsen told the media.

She furthermore said that on Thursday, there was no real update on Matambu’s whereabouts.

Here is what we know about John’s disappearance: 

  • The unidentified 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 reportedly took the unidentified man to Island Rock Beach on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.
  • At around 17:00 on Saturday, NSRI Richards Bay received alerts. This raised concerns about a missing charter ski boat, “MAGNUM TOO,” a 21-foot Yeld Cat ski boat, at sea, suggesting potential foul play.
  • Searchers located the burnt-out remains of the ski boat wrecked and extensively burned out on the Mozambique coastline in Dobela on Sunday, although it was expected to return to Sodwana Bay on Saturday afternoon.
  • The two men onboard were missing.
  • The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) received a report at 22:00 on Saturday. It indicated that someone may have sighted the ski boat as far north as Santa Maria, near the Mozambique coastline.
  • On Thursday, unfounded rumors circulated claiming that they had taken a “person of interest” in for questioning.
  • Local police authorities confirmed on Thursday that they were working closely with Interpol to facilitate cooperation between the two governments in the investigation.
  • The search for Matambu is still ongoing. 

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