More arrests expected for Cape Town businessman’s kidnapping

2017-01-13 19:42
Bangladeshi businessmen hold posters outside Wynberg Magistrate's Court. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Bangladeshi businessmen hold posters outside Wynberg Magistrate's Court. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town – The police are tracing three more people suspected of being part of a group that kidnapped Cape Town businessman Golam Mostafa, the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court heard on Friday.

State prosecutor Ludwe Dube said they had already identified one person, but would know the remaining identities by next week.

He was speaking during the appearance of five people who were arrested for the crime last year.

Melumzi Kekana, 35, a police reservist, appeared alongside Ntombikhoni Mgxekwa, also a South African, and Pakistanis Haseem Khalied, Zibi Jahazab and Muhammad Yaqoob.

Dube said they were looking for Mgxekwa’s sister, the sixth accused, who was currently on the run.

The State believes a syndicate was responsible for the kidnapping.

R10m ransom

Mostafa, 38, from Bangladesh, was kidnapped at his eatery in Lotus River on December 4.

His captors demanded a R10m ransom from his family.

Police apprehended the men and found the badly beaten Mostafa inside a Khayelitsha home on December 6. 

Dozens of Bangladeshi businessmen filled the court benches in support of Mostafa.

Many were scared or uncertain of whether they would be next, with mystery still surrounding which party was responsible and their exact motive.

During an adjournment, there was a tense stand-off between the group and a man they believed to be funding the lawyer of the Pakistani accused.

The man saw a camera flash and accused them of taking his photo, but they denied doing so.

Orderlies and police officers threatened to kick everyone out if they did not keep quiet.

Case postponed

The accused were supposed to apply for bail on Friday, but it emerged that the Urdu interpreter was out of the country.

The matter was postponed for the interpreter’s return on January 25. The bail application was set down for February 9 and 10.

Outside court, Bangladeshi men held a huge banner stating: "No bail for kidnappers; keep scum away from people. They are not part of society." 

At their previous court appearance, Mitchells Plain cluster community police forum chairperson Hanif Loonat told News24 that the kidnapping of business owners who are foreigners was more common than authorities believed.

"Most of the time, they just pay the demanded ransom and refuse to open cases because they don't trust the police," he said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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