Victim claims he was kidnapped because of Facebook pic

2014-04-25 14:27

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Employees of a security company that belongs to a prominent Mpumalanga politician’s husband allegedly kidnapped and tortured a 33-year-old man they accused of stealing a firearm.

Three Mbovula Security Services guards allegedly manhandled Dumisani Mahaye outside the Msukaligwa municipality’s offices in Ermelo last Tuesday, put him in the boot of their branded Toyota Corolla sedan and drove him to White River, 270km away, where he was detained and tortured for three days.

Mbovula belongs to Noah Dlamini – the husband of Mpumalanga health and social services MEC Candith Mashego-Dlamini.

Mahaye has since laid assault and kidnapping charges at the Ermelo police station.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Leonard Hlathi confirmed that a case was opened.

“A case was opened but I cannot divulge the name of the security company or where the complainant was driven, as this matter is still under investigation,” Hlathi said.

Mahaye told City Press that he was standing outside the municipal offices before a meeting with a councillor when the guards approached him and asked about a firearm confiscated from their colleague during a robbery at the municipal offices.

He said they forced him into their car and drove off in full view of his friends.

Mahaye said they stopped the car along the Carolina/Ermelo road to handcuff him and then threw him into the boot.

“There I was stripped naked in what looked like a storeroom, before being smothered, kicked and hit with batons. They also put me in a coffin and threatened that I would be killed if I didn’t confess to taking the firearm,” said Mahaye.

“There were two more men who joined in to torture me in White River. One of the men kept talking to police on the phone. On the third day I had to lie because I feared for my life. I told them the firearm was with my friend in Wesselton,” he added.

The three guards allegedly drove back to Ermelo with him. This time, said Mahaye, his face was covered with a jacket.

“They drove to the police station in Ermelo and that’s where I refused to confess to anything. It was the first time the security guards involved the police in the matter. I found out that my friends had opened a case immediately after I was kidnapped,” he explained.

Mahaye said his mistake was to take a photo of himself lying on his bed with a firearm and bullets, and post it on Facebook with this message in Zulu: “Ngahlukana nawe ngiyakubulala nami ngiyazibulala (If I break up with you, I will kill you and then kill myself).”

“Somebody told them their firearm was with me. That firearm is licensed and belongs to my friend. I took a photo to joke with my friends on Facebook, as I always do,” said Mahaye.

Dlamini said he was not aware that charges were laid against his employees.

“I’ve been in KwaZulu-Natal and I’m not aware of the incident,” he said.

Dlamini’s company used to guard Premier David Mabuza’s private residence on a farm outside Barberton but was replaced in 2010 with police after reports that R14 million had been stolen from the house.

Dlamini, Mabuza and Mpumalanga police, however, denied that such a huge amount had been stolen.

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