Kidnap accused's bail bid delayed

2010-06-14 20:04

Johannesburg - The two men accused of kidnapping the 5-year-old son of an Angolan mining magnate will know on Thursday whether or not they will be granted bail.

"Why do we let him suffer in custody, while verifying status?" asked Paul Leisher, acting for Fernando Jamba, on learning that the State had not yet verified his identity status or that of his co-accused Francisco Jose.

Jose and Jamba have been charged with kidnapping and extortion.

"The State has been granted postponement after postponement," argued Leisher.

Jose's lawyer told the court there was no evidence linking him to the case other than being identified by a witness.

Earlier, investigating officer Constable Saaiman told the court that Jose was arrested after being pointed out by a witness.

Saaiman told the court that four men, two of them armed, kidnapped Samuel Amoes at a church in Troyeville on May 9, and demanded ransom money for his release.

R1m ransom paid

More than R1m was paid to the kidnappers. Amoes, the son of Faustino Amoes, was returned to his family.

Saaiman testified that, during Jose's arrest he told the police that Jamba was the person responsible for the kidnapping.

Police arrested Jamba at his home in Kempton Park.

Saaiman voiced a concern that the two might interfere with the investigation. The arrests of two more people were expected, he said.

In their bail application, both men submitted that the police had found nothing in their possession linking them to the case.

State prosecutor Fikile Hlabangana, meanwhile, argued that they might not stand trial if granted bail.

He explained that there were questions about Jamba's South African identity document.

The last three numbers on the identity documents of people born outside South Africa start with the number one as opposed to zero for people born in South Africa.

"We still have to verify this," he said.

The State is also waiting for the their cellphone records.

A third co-accused, Domingo Santiago, has been released on R5 000 bail and the case against him postponed to June 23.