‘Don’t talk to strangers’

2011-05-12 00:00

DURING five hours of fear while being held by a “dagga smoking” kidnapper, a 20-year-old college student learnt a hard lesson to never trust strangers.

Mandisa Sibiya’s ordeal began at the corner of Pietermaritz and Chief Albert Luthuli streets in Pietermaritzburg at about 2 pm on Tuesday.

Her kidnapper, who looked in his early 20s, declared his love for her. Sibiya had accepted a lift from the man in the hope that he was going to give her a lift to Athlone, where she lives with her mother.

“I was returning from town to buy some stuff. The weather was starting to change and it was drizzling and then I said yes to his offer,” Sibiya explained.

However, while they were driving, the man drove pass Oriel bus stop where Sibiya was suppose to get off. She said the vehicle they were travelling in was small and white.

“When I asked him why he was driving past the bus stop he said he wanted to show how much he loved me.”

She became frightened as the man drove back to the CBD with her and continued to Alexandra Road.

Sibiya said that they stopped and entered a pink double storey house near Southgate Spar. The man locked her in the garage and left her alone.

It is from there that she sent her mother an SMS telling her she has been abducted, but her mother only received the message at about 4 pm, and immediately the search for her began.

“He later returned to the garage and invited me into the house, but I told him that all I wanted was to go home to my family,” said the public relations student.

Inside the house the man locked her in and disappeared. He returned later, smelling of dagga, and found her talking on her cellphone. He confiscated the phone and dismantled it.

“He repeatedly asked me whether I still didn’t want to date him? I kept on saying, no. I begged him to at least take me to town, if he was not prepared to take me home. I also promised that I was not going to tell the police.”

They both got into the vehicle and the man drove with his car lights off. They came to a small house constructed of timber, which was dark inside.

It was surrounded by trees and had a single bed. He then locked her in and disappeared again.

“About a few minutes later he returned and the smell of dagga had worsened. He gave me my cellphone and said he was not going to take me back to town because there were police everywhere looking for him.”

He opened the door and then drove away and left the girl inside the house. Sibiya ran for her life, although she was not sure of the direction. After about an hour she noticed that she had come to Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School and phoned her mother.

At home she was sedated to deal with her shock.

“I was really scared and I knew that it was not God’s will for me to be in that place. I’ve learnt never to trust anyone ever again. Never again will I take a lift from strangers,” Sibiya said.

Still traumatised, Sibiya said the only place she feels safe now is “inside the yard”.

Her mother, Beauty Sibiya, said she is over the moon that her only child was safe and at home.

“I felt like death when we found out that she was kidnapped,” the mother told The Witness.

The mother said she received lots of messages and phone calls from people who were praying for her daughter.

“The whole family was praying for her safety.”

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