Woman appears in court charged with murdering British grandfather who travelled to South Africa to meet her – eight years after mystery disappearance of another man she met on Facebook
- Zaheera Boomgaard has been charged with the murder of Jamnadas Nathvani
- British national Mr Nathvani, 71, last made contact with his family in early March
- His badly burned remains were found that month but only identified last month
- Boomgaard is also linked to the disappearance of another man she met online
A woman has been charged with murdering a British grandfather who travelled to South Africa to meet her, eight years after the disappearance of another man she met on Facebook.
Zaheera Boomgaard has been charged with the murder of Jamnadas Harkant Nathvani, 71, whose body was found burned beyond recognition in Walkerville, south of Johannesburg.
She is also charged with murdering her friend, Lynette Mustapha, according to a report in South African publication TimesLIVE.
Zaheera Boomgaard (above) has been charged with the murder of Jamnadas Harkant Nathvani
Boomgaard, from Walkerville, Gauteng province, appeared in the Vereeniging magistrate’s court on Monday. The court was adjourned until November 6 for a formal bail application.
The body of Mr Nathvani was discovered in March but lay in a morgue for six months before police were finally able to identify him by his teeth last month.
Mr Nathvani became acquainted with Boomgaard on Facebook before he travelled from India, where he had been on a pilgrimage, to South Africa to meet her.
Jamnadas Harkant Nathvani (pictured) was found dead in South Africa
Boomgaard has also been charged with several counts of fraud and the theft of Mustapha’s vehicle. She is also linked to the 2012 disappearance of 83-year-old retired naval engineer.
According to police spokesperson Col Brenda Muridili, Mr Nathvani arrived into South Africa on January 25.
The 71-year-old had been seen boarding a bus from Newcastle to Johannesburg Park Station on February 22, the last time he was sighted in person.
His Facebook account remained active, however, with posts about how he was fed up with being in Covid-19 lockdown, although family and friends who commented on them were skeptical about whether Mr Nathvani had written them.
His family’s last contact with him was on March 6, and it is now thought he died that month and that his body was left lying in grassland in Gauteng.
The body was picked up later in March but it lay in the morgue for months because it was so badly burned that it could not be identified.
Police issued a missing person alert on May 6 after Mr Nathvani’s daughter alerted authorities.
Mr Nathvani, a grandfather of two who was known to friends as Harry and remembered by relatives as a ‘gentle giant’, had last been seen in the flesh on February 22
The family also sought help from a missing person’s charity, but their search was hampered by coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
Finally, in September, authorities confirmed the body belonged to Mr Nathvani after matching it to his dental records and his family’s DNA.
On October 9, suspect Zaheera Boomgaard was arrested.
Boomgaard has also been linked to the disappearance of naval engineer John Naisby, 83, who travelled from Capetown to Walkerville to meet her after they met on Facebook and struck up an online romance.
Naisby told his wife that he was going to meet a woman named Zaheera Wookey. He was not seen since but money was withdrawn from his bank account in the days after his disappearance.
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