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Maltese doctor who disappeared in Cape Town under mysterious circumstances found alive by authorities

Maltese doctor who disappeared in Cape Town under mysterious circumstances found alive by authorities
Stefano Corso, a visiting doctor from Malta, who was last seen by his colleagues on 11 October 2023, has been found alive. (Photo: Facebook)

Maitland police assisted in finding the 29-year-old Maltese doctor who vanished from a seminar hosted by Stellenbosch University in Cape Town.

Stefano Corso, a doctor visiting South Africa from Malta who went missing on Wednesday after he stepped out of a lecture to take a phone call at 15:35 in Cape Town, has been found. 

The South African Police Service (SAPS) posted a Facebook update on the afternoon of 12 October stating that “The doctor has been found”. 

The details surrounding Corso’s disappearance are not yet known.  

The 29-year-old Maltese doctor attended a short course lecture held at OSC Marine Group on Carlisle Street, Paarden Island. The conference was hosted by Stellenbosch University.

Timing of Corso’s disappearance  

A lecturer from Stellenbosch University (who preferred not to be named) told Daily Maverick on Thursday that he was conducting a lecture when Corso walked out to attend to a phone call but failed to return.

“Stefano Corso attended the short course as an enrolled student. I was lecturing at the time he stepped out of the session to attend to a call,” he said.

He added, “When they were about to leave, I was approached by Corso’s colleague, who informed me that he stepped outside but hadn’t returned. We then began searching the premises, but he was not outside, and we looked at the CCTV footage and found that he left on foot,” said the lecturer. 

Western Cape police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk told Daily Maverick Dr Corso was in town to attend a medical seminar on the day of his disappearance.

“They were at the conference to inspect diving equipment used in underwater rescues,” said van Wyk, explaining that Corso was apparently with a party of nine other attendees. 

Van Wyk added, “The doctor and his colleague from Malta were to go for a holiday in Durban on October 14, 2023 and then set to leave on October 21 back to Malta”.

The OSC Marine Group is located in Paarden, a light industrial area of Cape Town, South Africa on the Table Bay coast, about five kilometres from the city centre.

The Group includes companies such as Cape Diving and TAG Diving. It offers numerous commercial diving and subsea construction services for Underwater Engineering and operations. 

Foreign nationals targeted 

Stefano Corso’s disappearance comes after the recent murder of Kar Hao Teoh, a 40-year-old British doctor, killed on 3 August in Nyanga during the peak of the Santaco taxi strike

In October of the previous year, a German visitor, Jörg Schnarr, was murdered near the Kruger National Park. Schnarr’s widow was in a hired car with two other German tourists when her 75-year-old husband was fatally shot near the Kruger National Park’s Numbi Gate.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Murder of German tourist near Kruger National Park bodes ill for SA’s tourism market

Family’s relief

According to a report by Malta Times on Thursday afternoon, foreign ministry sources informed the publication that Corso had been found. 

The Interpol unit with the Malta police received a phone call from the lead investigative officer, Detective Sergeant Melvyn Matthews in Cape Town, that Dr Stefano Corso is safe and has kept contact with his family.

Stefano’s brother Roberto Corso, posted on Facebook following the SAPS update, expressing his heartfelt gratitude. 

“We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Maltese and South African institutions, as well as the public in general for their assistance in my brother’s search and rescue mission,” said Corso.

He added, “The family is delighted to confirm that we have had visual confirmation that Stefano is indeed alive. We do not have more information about his disappearance at this stage. We look forward to having Stefano back home. Thank you again to each and every one of you,” said Roberto Corso. DM

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