Cops made every minute count

2016-09-06 09:20
Dumisani Majola (56) in court on Monday where he appeared in connection with a charge of kidnapping Mpiloh Ngwenya (6) son of Pietermaritzburg magistrate, Sandile Ngwenya.

Dumisani Majola (56) in court on Monday where he appeared in connection with a charge of kidnapping Mpiloh Ngwenya (6) son of Pietermaritzburg magistrate, Sandile Ngwenya. (Ian Carbutt)

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Following the sensational rescue of a Pietermaritzburg boy just hours after he was kidnapped on Friday, it has been revealed that police found the man who allegedly abducted Mpiloh Ngwenya (6) through CCTV footage from a local liquor store.

Prestbury acting branch commander Warrant Officer Omichand Sanka said Mpiloh was found in just “two hours and five minutes” through the incredible teamwork of Prestbury detectives, and the K9 Search and Rescue and Public Order Policing unit officers.

Sanka said Prestbury station commissioner Captain Bashie Thaver received a call from Mpiloh’s father, Sandile Ngwenya, that the boy had been kidnapped. Sanka said he headed out to the Ngwenya home in Morcom Road, arriving at 3.30 pm. Witnesses were interviewed and the details of the kidnapping circulated over the radio.

It was discovered that the gardener at the complex where the Ngwenyas live had arrived at the property with the man accused of the kidnapping and was also interviewed by police.

“The gardener was drunk and could not provide any information on who the man was,” said Sanka.

“Constable Faeez Karrim and Constable Nellie Zimu took the gardener to the Prestbury police station to ensure he did not run off, and to prevent him from drinking more alcohol so that he might answer the police’s questions,” he said. “All [police] vehicles were sent out into the area to look for the kidnapper’s car.”

The breakthrough came when the semi-sober gardener mentioned to police that he and the man had stopped at a local liquor store in Mayor’s Walk.

“Karrim and Zimu rushed to the liquor store and were able to view the CCTV footage of the gardener and the man in the store,” said Sanka.

“They identified the man as a person who had been arrested the previous week for drunk driving. They accessed his docket and got his home address,” said Sanka.

“Thaver and Detective Warrant Officer Dumisani Bekwa drove to the man’s house, where they found his wife.”

The wife was brought to the station, from where she phoned her husband and got his location.

Sanka, K9 Unit Warrant Officer Karl Gous, Public Order Unit Warrant Officer Andre Visser and Constable Moodley then drove out to Edendale, while the wife travelled with them, calling the man for updates on his location.

“At 5.23 pm the child was found and the man was arrested,” said Sanka.

“The SAPS management is proud of the officers who participated in the safe return of the missing child and commended them on a job well done,” he said.

“The officers acted professionally and calmly under extreme pressure and were able to return Mpiloh safely to his parents.

“These officers have proved to the community that the police are determined in combating crime.

“The actions and responses of these officers are typical examples of how the community should be served and protected,” said Sanka.

A neighbour of Mpiloh Ngwenya and his parents said she watched in horror from her window when the six-year-old was whisked away by a stranger last Friday.

Mpiloh was abducted from his home, a complex in Morcom Road, by an unknown man who was allegedly drunk on Friday afternoon.

Pearl and Sandile Ngwenya’s neighbour, Gaylene Donnelley, said she had been at home when she saw a car parked outside the complex gate.

“The car had been parked outside the gate for about 40 minutes, and the man was talking to Mpiloh,” said Donnelley.

“I kept my eye on them, but the way the two were talking, it seemed the man was Mpiloh’s uncle or a relative.”

She said she then had a visitor and opened the gate for the car to drive in.

The man talking to Mpiloh drove in too and within seconds, the other children in the complex were shouting that a stranger had taken the child.

“I felt sick to my stomach,” said Donnelley.

“I ran down to the gardener of the complex, as he had been chatting to the man and drinking with him earlier, but he said he didn’t know who the man was.

“I jumped into my car and drove around for almost an hour checking petrol stations, parks and supermarkets.

“I felt terrible. I am very close to Mpiloh and his family, and knowing someone had taken him was horrible.”

She said she was “ecstatic” that he had been found and that he was unharmed.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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