Teen appears in court for well-known horticulturalists' kidnapping

2018-05-09 22:17
Magistrate's Court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

Magistrate's Court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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One of the people accused of kidnapping world-renowned horticulturalists Rod and Rachel Saunders, made a brief appearance in the Verulam Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Themba Xulu, 19, was allegedly found in possession of cellphones belonging to the couple, shortly after police started investigating their disappearance. The couple has been missing since February.

The horticulturalists have South African and British citizenship and were allegedly kidnapped at or near the Bivane Dam in Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal.

Xulu is charged in connection with their disappearance along with 36-year-old Malawian Ahmad Jackson Mussa, and couple Sayefudeen Del Vecchio, 37 and Fatima Patel, 27. They face charges of kidnapping, assault and robbery.

Xulu who was arrested on February 26, appeared in court alone on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, there were several police officials inside and outside of the courtroom.

Magistrate Valaramen Kathravaloo postponed Xulu's matter to Thursday so that arrangements could be made for it to be transferred to a regional court.

Xulu is still in custody after his bid for bail failed in March.

Del Vecchio and Patel were arrested at their home on February 15 and also face terrorism charges.

Mussa, also known as Bazooka, was arrested on March 22 in Newlands in Durban.

An affidavit before court showed alleged communication between Del Vecchio‚ Patel and Bazooka.

Read more on:    isis  |  durban  |  crime

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