KwaZulu-Natal boy in kidnap ordeal

2018-05-11 15:53

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Gang members believed to be responsible for kidnapping a teenaged boy at Dundee at the weekend, were tracked down and arrested in the Cape early yesterday by local company Magma Security and Investigations.

The 15-year-old was snatched from his family home in Dundee on Saturday evening and held captive for over 24 hours. He was released physically unharmed in Ladysmith by the kidnappers on Monday morning.

Soon after learning the alleged kidnappers were behind bars, the teen’s relieved mother yesterday recounted the trauma of her son being kidnapped and their emotional reunion.

She told The Witness in a telephonic interview that her son was outside washing the car on Saturday afternoon and went to lock the gate when a man approached asking for help with his car.

When her son reached the car, a second man appeared, showed the boy a gun, pushed him onto the floor of the back passenger seats, threw a blanket over his head and drove away.

“They took him right from my gate. It all happened in a split second,” she said.

The woman said when her son did not come back inside, she initially thought he may have gone out with friends, but after phoning around panic started to set in.

“I was awake the whole night waiting for him to come home, then on Sunday morning I received a call from the kidnappers. They told me they had my son, that I must remain calm, follow their instructions and not to involve the police.

“They said they wanted money,” she said.

The mother said despite being told not to involve police, she reported the matter to the local police station and the hunt for her son began.

“I was so hysterical. I did not know what to do. I didn’t even know if my son was okay. I told them [the kidnappers] that I needed to see or hear him.

“They sent me a photo of him all tied up and a voice note with him speaking.

“I was so devastated ... I begged them not to harm him. They told me my son would be fine as long as I followed their instructions.”

On Sunday night, she sent the money via e-wallet to the kidnappers, who called shortly afterwards saying her son would be home in half-an-hour.

“I waited. I was up the whole night, searching with friends and family and private security companies.

“We went from shop to shop and corner to corner. We were up looking for him until 6.30 am on Monday.”

At around 8.30 am on Monday, the mother received the call she had been waiting for.

“My son called me and said he was in Ladysmith and I must come and fetch him. We both started crying when we saw each other. I was so relieved he was unharmed and back with his family.”

Magma Security and Investigations director Shaheen Suleiman, together with crime intelligence and other law enforcement agencies, was able to trace the five alleged kidnappers to the Cape.

Suleiman said he and his team traced the gang through informers during a four- day investigation during which time they got little sleep. They drove down to the Cape personally to arrest the gang.

The five men were arrested at Malmesbury yesterday morning. All are believed to be from Zimbabwe and are aged in their 30s. They are expected to appear in court in Dundee shortly.

The boy’s mother said she was grateful to Suleiman and his team who managed to track down the suspects.

She also thanked friends, Dundee police and Sipho Security, who all helped her deal with the trauma while searching for her son.


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