Father’s friend behind kid's kidnapping

2018-05-23 16:00

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The father of the three Newcastle children who were kidnapped to be held for R2 million ransom said a friend who was “like a brother” had orchestrated the entire ordeal.

The three children, aged six, nine and 11, were kidnapped on Monday morning by armed men, while they were being driven to school by the family’s driver.

The children were eventually found by the Newcastle FCS Commander Captain Nagesh Moothilal, Newcastle K9 Unit and Madadeni SAPS members on Monday afternoon.

According to provincial police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele, the team went to a house at Inverness Place in Osizweni, Newcastle, where the three children were kept hostage.

Police arrested five men aged between 20 and 70, who included a close friend of the kidnapped children’s father, Peter Jama.

Mbhele said the men were found in possession of an unlicensed pistol and the hijacked vehicle was recovered at Osizweni C section.

Speaking to The Witness on on Tuesday in a telephonic interview, Jama said he “was so shocked” when he found out his close friend was behind the kidnapping of his three children.

He said the family friend was like a brother to him and that they had known each other for almost seven years.

Jama said they’d met years ago as neighbours and quickly became fast friends. “He was good with the children. We trusted him. I just cannot believe it,” he said.

Jama, who runs a taxi business, said his friend woud even drive his children to school every now and then.

However, although he feels betrayed, Jama said he was grateful that his children were safe at home, and were unharmed in the ordeal.

He said his children would be going for counselling but that they “are coping because the police have done such a good job”.

“When my wife and I saw the children, they were crying and they were traumatised.

“We just hugged them. My wife was crying. I was suppressing my tears,” said Jama.

Jama added that he was very thankful to all those involved who helped find his children.

The men are expected to appear at the Madadeni Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on charges of carjacking, kidnapping and possession of an unlicensed firearm. An additional charge of human trafficking will be added.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  kidnapped girls

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