A brave Michelle Ohlsson, 51, spoke exclusively to the Daily Voice in the hopes that after two decades, this will rattle those who know what happened to Matthew to finally come out with the truth.
She refutes claims that her son had run away after he was scolded on 24 March 1997.
The public came to know Matthew as the smiling little boy with curly black hair and black eyes.
Matthew, a pupil at Westville Primary School, had asked his mother if he could fetch the wheelie bin outside their home in Westridge and was never seen again.
He was barefoot, wearing only his underpants and a green and grey vest with “USA” printed on it.
He had a heart-shaped birthmark on his chest.
Police offered R50 000 for the return of Matthew and called in the SA army.
Now two decades later, Michelle is challenging police and her own family to reveal the truth, saying no one can die with the secret.
“I will always believe that somebody took him,” she says.
“If he was angry, he would not have stayed away, he would come back because his friends were his siblings.
“I do not believe this was a runaway case, I didn’t know my child to be like that.
“I believe someone took him and I believe there are a lot of people who know much more.
“I have no proof of what I say. I cannot say I saw this one or that.
“But there is just something about my family, when they are together you know the feeling when you come into the room and everyone is quiet.
“What are you supposed to do, what would you think if you were in my shoes but this was never spoken to me.
“This is always spoken behind my back.
“For me it was planned, but I am led spiritually on this since I do not have the proof.
“When I am on this case of looking for Matthew, some of these family members would say I am looking for publicity and why don’t I just leave it because I already have my three other children?”
Michelle says days before Matthew vanished, his brother Justin claimed a female spirit was visiting Matthew in the room while they slept at night and that felt something was about to happen.
“When he was talking about this auntie coming in the night, I didn’t understand what he was trying to bring across to me but after Matthew disappeared, a lot of things happened which I will not go into now,” she says.
“I didn’t know what Justin said when he said something was going to happen to Matthew. If I’d known, I would have kept my children locked up in my house.
“Justin always said something was going to happen to Matthew.
“When they are smaller you don’t always understand what they say as kids. I just said to him, we keep on praying, and then Matthew disappeared.”
She says cops, who were previously investigating Matthew’s case, refused her access to the case docket.
And she believes vital evidence may have been overlooked.
“I was always told I could not view the docket,” she says.
“There is valuable information, did they speak to my family, his teacher, his neighbour, what was said for them to handle it as a runaway when I reported the case as a missing person?”
Michelle says she is certain that “skeletons will finally come out of the closet”.
“If I had a body or something, then I could host a memorial or funeral,” she adds.
“But God will never allow everyone to die with this and to take it to the grave.”