Police reservist the alleged mastermind in businessman's kidnapping

2017-02-23 18:26
Bangladeshi businessmen hold posters outside Wynberg Magistrate's Court. (File, Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Bangladeshi businessmen hold posters outside Wynberg Magistrate's Court. (File, Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town - A Cape Town police reservist is accused of being the mastermind in the "well-planned and organised" kidnapping of a Cape Town businessman, the Wynberg Magistrate's Court heard on Thursday.

Investigating officer Steve Humphrey said in an affidavit during bail proceedings that police reservist Melmuzi Kekana, 35, had cellphone contact with his five co-accused, and that his car was used to keep an eye on Golam Mostafa, two days before he was snatched from his eatery in Lotus River on December 4.

Kekana, of Ruyterwacht, also picked up his co-accused on the night of the kidnapping, the court heard.

The 39-year-old businessman was found in the home of co-accused Bongiwe Mgxekwa in Khayelitsha two days later, after an alleged co-conspirator informed the police of Mostafa's whereabouts.

The informant is currently in witness protection. Mgxekwa has denied any involvement, Humphrey said.

The kidnappers had demanded R10m from Mostafa's family, and demanded that they sell his properties and cars when they said they only had R200 000 available.

READ: More arrests expected for Cape Town businessman’s kidnapping

Handcuffed and assaulted

Following the tip-off, police found Mostafa in a room in the Abraham Tiro Street house. A bra had been used to cover his eyes, he had been handcuffed and assaulted.

His captors had offered the Muslim man pork to eat, which he had refused.

According to video footage, Pakistanis Haseeb Khalid and Mohammed Taseen Yaqoob had gone into Golam's shop before the kidnapping to purchase airtime.

When the businessman was rescued, Khalid was found in the house, still wearing the Manchester United sweater worn in the footage.

Ntombikhona Mgxekwa - the homeowner's sister - as well as Jahan Zaib were also inside the house and all were arrested.

Khalid, 27, who works in a cellphone shop, was in the country with a valid refugee permit, while Zaib's refugee permit had expired four years ago.

Yaqoob was in the country illegally as he did not have asylum papers, Humphrey said.

Five of the accused were applying for bail. Ntombikhona had been granted bail during a previous court appearance.

The State is opposing the application as it believes the men will flee the country, and South Africa does not have an extradition agreement with Pakistan.

It also argued that it had a strong prima facie case against the South African accused.

None of them have any previous convictions or pending cases.

The matter was postponed to Friday.


Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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