Western Cape police have identified the body recovered on Table Mountain last Tuesday as Unicef associate director Charlotte Nikoi‚ spokesman Captain FC Van Wyk said on Tuesday morning.
An inquest docket has been opened and no foul play is suspected.
Nikoi’s husband‚ Chris‚ said he was flying to Cape Town on Tuesday to collect his late wife’s remains and meet the police.
He confirmed he had hired the private investigator who discovered her body‚ 10 weeks after she disappeared on March 21 on the steep hiking trail of Platteklip Gorge.
Nikoi was found with her wallet‚ passport and cellphone‚ according to the investigator‚ Paul Scheepers. Her body was found in an area that had not been previously searched‚ he reportedly said.
Van Wyk said DNA tests had confirmed the decomposing body was Nikoi. After she disappeared her husband‚ director of the World Food Programme for Southern Africa‚ had continued to search for her and offered a reward for information.
He and his 16-year-old daughter last saw “Nana Yaa”‚ as they knew her‚ at about 1pm on March 21‚ descending the Platteklip Gorge trail. She had decided to go down and wait for them at the bottom of the mountain.
The mother of three traveled to Cape Town to celebrate her 22nd wedding anniversary with her husband and spend time with her youngest daughter.
Scheepers told other media he had triangulated her cellphone signal and the last signal was on the mountain. He decided that they needed to go back to that spot and her body was found 70m from the last signal. That side of the mountain had not been searched previously.
On Saturday‚ Unicef expressed its sadness at the loss of Nikoi ‚ who was based in New York.
“Nana Yaa was a committed colleague who devoted the past 18 years of her life to the work and values of the United Nations. Her warmth and steadfast support will be missed by all those who knew her‚” the UN body said in a statement.
Nikoi described her as a devoted wife and mother to their three daughters‚ aged 16‚ 20 and 22‚ all studying in the US.
Tiso Black Star Group/ TimesLIVE