Kidnapped officers will return to Sudan

2010-04-30 17:21

The four South African police officers who were kidnapped in Sudan

will return to that country to complete their work.

Colonel Ntlogeleng Aucone said: “All of us are going back ... we

can still stay there for one year. From the start, our aim was to go there and

assist the people, and we knew what to expect. We were treated like human

beings. We are not hurt, we are lucky and we are fine.”

Aucone, Captain Michael Annett, Sergeant Michael Melanzi and

Constable Mmasebelalo Ramantsi were abducted by a group of 18 men on April 11

while travelling in Nyala from their operational base to their residence.

Having slept in the veld, sharing only one blanket at night, the

group was “unshaken”.

Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa said the news of their release on

Monday brought joy, relief and appreciation to their families, government and

South Africans.

No ransom was paid, even though the equivalent of R29 million was


Mthethwa said: “Their only sin was just doing what they do best:

keeping the safety of the people of Sudan, under the United Nations (UN)

peacekeeping umbrella.”

The police minister also thanked President Jacob Zuma, former

president Thabo Mbeki, the UN, the government of Sudan, and other roleplayers

who contributed to the release of the four.

National police commissioner General Bheki Cele said it appeared

that the hostage-takers had believed the four officers were Americans.

Melanzi jokingly said the Bafana Bafana football jersey could have


Melanzi said: “Unfortunately we only wear it on a Friday and we

were kidnapped on a Sunday.”

Annett said he could not wait to see the sea again back home in the

Western Cape.

Ramantsi said nothing had felt as good as “seeing a South African


All have undergone medical and psychological examinations and will

receive support until they are fit to return to work.


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