Missing South African woman found in Japanese jail

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

The family of a South African professional masseuse jailed in Japan does not know why she was arrested or when she will be home.

Marilyn Massyn, 36, left her Krugersdorp home in Gauteng on October 22.

Marylin Massyn. Photo sourced from Facebook

Marylin Massyn. Photo sourced from Facebook

Her mother Angie Massyn said they were relying on South African officials in Japan for more information.

“We heard on Thursday (November 6) that she was found. She has been arrested and is in a jail in Japan. We don’t know why,” said Massyn.

“The South African embassy in Japan will let us know what’s happening. They didn’t tell me why she is in jail. All they said is that they were informed.

“I would also like to hear what is going on, but don’t want to interfere. They said they would let us know what happened.”

Nelson Kgwete, spokesperson for the department of international relations and cooperation, yesterday confirmed the government was keeping track of the matter.

“We are aware of the case and officials from the department are in contact with the family,” he said.

He did not offer more information on the reasons for Massyn’s arrest or where she was being detained.

Massyn initially traveled from Johannesburg to Abu Dhabi, said her mother.

“She told me that she was going away with a friend,” said Angie Massyn.

Massyn said she hired a private investigator when her daughter did not contact her after a few days. She also appealed for help on social networking website Facebook, where she posted a photograph of her daughter that was subsequently reposted at least 3,500 times.

Massyn said her daughter’s 14-year-old son was also waiting for news about his mother who said she would “go away for a few days”. She was meant to be back home on October 26.

Abu Dhabi newspaper, The National, reported that Massyn “transited through Abu Dhabi Airport on October 22, and proceeded onwards to Japan”.

The newspaper had published a description of the missing woman, saying she “weighed 86 kilograms and was 5 feet 7 inches, or 170 centimetres tall”.

“Marilyn’s most distinguishing feature is a large tattoo covering her lower back,” it reported.

It quoted her mother saying: “It is like angel wings and very big… It spreads from one side of the back to the other. You can really see it.”

It also reported that Mpetjane Kgaogelo Lekgoro, South Africa’s ambassador to the UAE, “was aware of Marilyn’s disappearance”.


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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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