Missing gay Joburg man’s supporters protest outside court


Wayne Johnson (right) and his husband Charl Smith

There is still no news about the fate of Wayne Johnson, who has been missing for 49 days, as the men accused of kidnapping him appeared in court this week.

Wayne (also known by his married name of Wayne Smith), a 43-year-old businessman from Parkview in Johannesburg, was last seen on 12 June in Rabie Ridge, Midrand. He was wearing blue jeans, a white-collar shirt and a black bomber jacket.

After he vanished, Wayne’s car was put up for sale on Facebook and his SIM card was allegedly used in one of the three suspects’ phone.

Wayne’s husband, Charl Smith, has been devastated by the disappearance, as have the couple’s friends and family. Charl, who last saw his spouse when he left for work on the morning of his disappearance, spoke to e.tv’s Nuusdag about the ordeal.

“You don’t always know how you are going to get through the day. The adrenaline was a big help at the beginning but the longer it takes, one starts to lose hope. Time is ticking away and it’s becoming more difficult,” he said.

Pic: Facebook

On Tuesday, the three men suspected of hijacking and kidnapping Wayne appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court.

Supporters held a vigil outside the court holding up placards that read “Bring Wayne Home”, “Justice For Wayne” and “No Bail.” The suspects’ bail application hearing has been postponed to 6 August.

Charl expressed his frustration to Nuusdag about the investigation into his husband’s disappearance. He claims that police investigators lack basic resources, such as a vehicle, and that Wayne’s cell phone provider has also not handed over all the required records to the police.

“If we could just know where Wayne is, if we could just bring him home, in whatever way possible. We owe it to him,” said an emotional Charl.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Constable Moilwa on 011 067 6000, the Pink Ladies on 072 214 7439 or Charl on 072 132 9481.

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