Hawks investigate PSL star for ‘fake kidnapping’

2014-05-04 15:00

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Mamelodi Sundowns player Punch Masenamela is being investigated by the Hawks for allegedly faking his own kidnapping.

But the star defender was instead bust by the elite unit while allegedly trying to extort a R5 million ranson from the country’s wealthiest football club.

The footballer was allegedly discovered in a Joburg hotel with a mistress after Hawks investigators found him by tracking his cellphone signal.

Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko told City Press that Masenamela had reported his “kidnapping” to his wife, who then opened a case with police and the matter was handed over to the Hawks.

“He was found in a hotel room. He was not kidnapped,” Ramaloko said.

A senior Hawks official told City Press that they were still contemplating whether to criminally charge the left-back – who is also a Bafana Bafana fringe player – after he sent them on a wild goose chase about two weeks ago. He could face charges of fraud and defeating the ends of justice.

The official alleged that Masenamela pretended to have been kidnapped and then sent an SMS to Sundowns officials asking for R5 million to be deposited in his own bank account, which he would then hand over to his kidnappers.

But it turned out to be a hoax as he was found in a cosy hotel with a woman.

A Sundowns insider said Masenamela had pleaded for mercy after being caught out.

“He said he had financial problems, hence he staged the kidnapping and wanted quick money but realised the severity of his actions after he was caught. He was supposed to appear before the club’s disciplinary committee but I don’t know what happened,” said the source.

The club’s spokesperson Kabelo Mosito said this was a personal matter and promised to get the player to comment. However, none was forthcoming.

Masenamela has not featured much for the club this season after a lengthy layoff due to injury. He last played for the Brazilians on December 20 2013 during the team’s 2–2 draw with Maritzburg United.

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