Angolan kidnap accused 'an illegal'

2010-06-17 13:00

Johannesburg - One of the two men accused of kidnapping the 5-year-old son of an Angolan mining magnate is in the country illegally, the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court heard on Thursday.

"The State has documents indicating he is illegal," prosecutor Fikile Hlabangana told the court of Fernando Jamba, and requested a postponement.

The case against Jamba and co-accused Francisco Jose was postponed until June 23.

A third co-accused Domingo Santiago earlier received R5 000 bail. His case was also postponed until June 23.

The State alleges that the men kidnapped Samuel Amoes, the son of Faustino Amoes, at a church in Troyeville, Johannesburg, on May 9 and demanded a ransom for his release.

He was found after his family paid a ransom of more than R1m.

In their bail application, Jamba and Jose submitted that there was no evidence linking them to the case, because nothing was found in their possession to link them with the case.

Citizenship in question

Their citizenship has been in question since their arrest.

According to court papers, Jamba told the police he was Angolan but was found in possession on a Mozambican passport.

Jose, who was born in Mozambique, claimed to be a naturalised citizen of South Africa.

However, investigating officer Constable Piet Saaiman told the court that the last three numbers of his South African-issued identity document were similar to those of people born in South Africa.

He explained that the last three digits of people born outside South Africa must start with one and not zero as is the case in people born in South Africa.

The last numbers of Jose's identity number start with zero.

Saaiman told the court last week that Jose was arrested after a witness identified him as one of the men who brought Amoes back after the ransom was paid.

Jose then told the police that Jamba was linked to the kidnapping as he once worked for the Amoes family and was overheard saying they were very rich.

The State argued that the two would not stand trial if granted bail as they did not have family ties or assets in South Africa.