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Special Assignment

By Faeza
11 September 2015

HITCH-HIKERS’ HELL

A Special Assignment investigation

Robbery, rape and murder is rife in Musina, Limpopo Province which borders on Zimbabwe. The victims are Zimbabweans hitch-hickers who are coming to Gauteng. The alarming part is that the kindnappers are fellow Zimbabweans who offer to take the hitch-hikers to

Musina in Limpopo Province which borders on Zimbabwe is the scene of a kidnapping syndicate that robs, rapes and goes as far as to murder their victims. A Special Assignment investigation found that the victims are Zimbabweans hitch-hiking from the border into the Gauteng Province. A disturbing fact is that the kidnappers are fellow Zimbabweans who offer them a lift to Johannesburg. Once in the city, the unsuspecting victims’ documents are destroyed, they are assaulted and sometimes the women are raped whilst the kidnappers negotiate ransom with their families.

The Special Assignment investigation will expose a crime hotspot where hitch-hikers are robbed. Women are raped and assaulted by an armed gang of robbers called Goma Gomas, who hide outside Musina on the way to Gauteng.

In Johannesburg the police recently arrested four suspects at a house in Rabie Ridge on the outskirts of the city. They appeared in court charged with the kidnapping, murder and rape of two Zimbabwean women, Olga Gwena and Ester Mwenda. The alleged ringleaders of the kidnapping syndicate, Charles Brewer and his wife Petition Madida were convicted for kidnaping last year and given a suspended sentence before allegedly committing more crimes. The Zimbabwean Consulate has established that the couple is from Bulawayo.

The kidnappers'route is tracked from Musina to Gauteng, and one of victims, Patrick Dangarembwa. The Kauso brothers' open up about how thier wives, Olga and Ester, were murdered by the kidnappers. Sharoma Kauso’s wife Ester was burned beyond recognition by the kidnappers, and he is waiting for DNA test results to verify her identity before he takes her body home for a proper burial.

In this episode of Special Assignment they ask why Zimbabweans are placing themselves at great risk by resorting to hitch-hiking whilst dangerous kidnappers are at large and, whether the justice system has done enough to convict the perpetrators for these heinous crimes.

Watch “HITCH-HIKERS’ HELL” on Special Assignment, Produced by Frank Ferro

Sunday on SABC3 at 20h30