Have you seen Frank Kater?

A gay Dutch man is desperately searching for his partner, who has been missing for five weeks in Cape Town.

Frank Elshof told Mambaonline on Thursday that his partner of almost three years, 42-year-old Frank Kater, came to South Africa on the 5th of September to be admitted into a treatment programme at the Stepping Stones rehab centre.

Elshof said that everything appeared to be going extremely well and the two men exchanged calls and cell phone messages during the treatment.

“I spoke to him last on Thursday the 9th of October and he sent me Whatsapp messages on Friday and said he would speak to me Sunday. And he was doing fine. He wanted to fight this disease,” said Elshof.

On Sunday 12 October, the clinic contacted Elshof in Amsterdam and informed him that Kater had not come back from an afternoon outing the previous day. He has still not returned to the clinic and remains unaccounted for.

A frantic Elshof has now flown to Cape Town with a friend to look for his partner. The Dutch Consul, the SAPS and a private detective are all assisting in the search.

“It’s been five weeks since he went missing. We’re gravely concerned that something bad has happened to him. He hasn’t contacted his parents or friends. The clinic still has his passport and he doesn’t have his credit or bank card. He has no money or means of identification. I’m so afraid that something has happened to him,” said an emotional Elshof.

“I got a letter from him a week after he went missing. It was late because of the [postal] strike. It was sent on 31 September and he said that he could feel that I was proud of him. And he told me how beautiful South Africa is and that he wanted to come back with me to see it together.”

Elshof described Kater as “a caring and kind person and he’s there for you if you’re in trouble. He’s a funny and pleasant guy to be with,” adding, “It doesn’t make sense that he is like this.”

Elshof explained that it’s not at all like Kater to remain out of touch for such a long period. “I’m just crying all the time. How can he be away for so long without money or anything? This is nothing like I know Frank. It’s like a nightmare.”

He said that if Kater has chosen to stay out of sight, he will respect that. “We really want a sign of life and to know that he is unarmed – whatever his choice may be. I’m from Amsterdam. In the gay community everybody knows everybody. Somebody must know something.”

The search for Kater has made headlines in the Netherlands and even the prime minister has tweeted about his concern for the missing man.

There are unconfirmed reports that Kater was last seen being dropped off on Main Road in Green Point on the Sunday after he left the clinic. He is Dutch, 42-years-old, weighs 76 kilograms, is 1.83 metres tall and has blue eyes. He was last wearing an orange polo shirt, red tailored trousers and white flip flops.

If you have any information about the whereabouts of Frank Kater or have seen him, please contact Frank Elshof on or 082 079 4449.

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