Kidnap is no hoax, say cops

2012-09-29 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL police refuse to entertain any speculation that the 10 women alleged to have been kidnapped for ransom is a hoax.

Spokesperson Vincent Mdunge said the public shouldn’t jump to conclusions that the kidnappings might be part of an elaborate plot concocted by the 23-year-old Nkandla woman who escaped on Wednesday.

“We are pushing in all our resources. We have to find the missing women. We can’t jump to conclusions that the victim who was rescued this week is lying,” said Mdunge.

Mdunge said they were working “tirelessly” to find the suspects and remaining victims alive and would head in the direction “where the investigation takes them”.

“We must respect the victim who has gone through a huge amount of trauma,” said Mdunge.

It has been ascertained that the woman was treated at the Eshowe Hospital Crisis Centre on Thursday and underwent both counselling and a medical examination.

The Weekend Witness has since confirmed from the family that the victim was raped.

According to the victim’s mother, there is no visible bruising on her daughter, but “she is sore all over”, particularly along the spinal cord.

The Nkandla victim made two withdrawals of ransom money. The first was R300 last week and R2 000 on Wednesday.

Both amounts were deposited into her account by her family and were withdrawn from Postbank on Chancery Lane in Pinetown.

It was during the second withdrawal that police arranged a sting operation to rescue her and attempt to arrest the suspects.

A Post Office source said that both times the woman came to the bank, she was accompanied by two men.

“After the first withdrawal her account was flagged. When she came in the second time she was told to go to the manager’s office, possibly with a reason such as ‘to count the money’ in order to get her away from the men.

“The men then slipped away before an undercover policeman could arrive. On both occasions, the tellers said the woman and the men seemed uncomfortable,” said the source.

The kidnapping gang is believed to comprise South African and foreign nationals.

Yesterday, The Witness reported that the police were racing against time to find the remaining 10 women being held captive.

They are thought to be in northern KwaZulu-Natal or in the Greater Durban area.

One of the 12 women kidnapped is believed to be dead.

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