'My daughter was held hostage for 3 years'

By admin
20 October 2015

A woman whose daughter was abducted and held hostage for three years - during which her captors claimed R330 a month in social welfare grants - has told of her lingering pain and emotional breakdown.

Samke Ntuli, who lives in KwaMashu near Durban, told how her world was shattered the day her daughter did not return home from the train station.

That day was the first of many spent in emotional purgatory, with Ntuli turning to traditional healers for some sort of divine intervention.

'When it started getting dark and she was still not home I became frantic'

Ntuli, who was reunited with her daughter in 2013, granted the interview with News24 after a woman and daughter were sentenced for the kidnapping by a Durban magistrate last week.

She asked that her daughter not be named.

“I used to fetch her from school but the day she was kidnapped I had to go to the dentist so she needed to use the train by herself. When it started getting dark and she was still not home I became frantic,” she said.

“When I could not find her I felt like my world was coming to an end. The following day I went to the police and opened a missing person’s case and the search started. When she went missing she was six years old and in Grade 2.

“I kept praying and hoping that one day I would be reunited with my daughter. I went through so much during that time and even suffered from depression and it still affects me; I am still taking medication for this,” Ntuli said.

'Dark muthi'

The desperate mother said she had turned to sangomas to help find her daughter. They had spoken of a dark muthi that was used and which prevented them from locating her. All they could say for certain was that she was alive.

“They kept telling me my daughter was alive but they could not locate her as the person who had kidnapped her was using muthi. I longed for the day I [would] meet her again. My life had changed drastically and I was not my usual self and sometimes I would be overcome with grief and collapse in broad daylight.”

The mother and daughter who coerced the girl to leave the train station with them, were found guilty of kidnapping and fraud. They appeared in the Durban Magistrate's Court last week when they were sentenced to eight and 14 years in prison respectively.

They had told the young girl that her mother had gone to Johannesburg and that was why the girl could not return home.

In the weeks after she was snatched, the two worked together to get a new birth certificate that reflected a different surname and began claiming a monthly grant of R330.

The girl was found after police released her photo to the media. A woman recognised her and this led to her being reunited with her mother in 2013.


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