Three men suspected of kidnapping a 72-year-old old man briefly appeared before the Mbizana Magistrate’s Court on Monday, January 23 in connection with kidnapping, assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm and malicious damage to property.
Lungisani Sabelo (25), Mluleki Machi (36) and Langa Masango (52) have been remanded in custody until January 31, 2023 as further investigations are still in progress.
According to Hawks spokesperson, Captain Yolisa Mgolodela, the trio were arrested by the Mbizana Serious Organised Crime Investigation of the Hawks between January 19 and 20, in a joint operation by the Mbizana detectives, Mbizana Vispol members, Mbizana Stock Theft Unit and the Mbizana Crime Intelligence gathering.
“It is alleged that on January 18, 2023 at about 21:00 approximately ten suspects armed with firearms and bush knives barged into the homestead of a man. He was reportedly man-handled and kidnapped by this group,” said Mgolodela.
She said that the suspects allegedly demanded a sum of R20 000, five cattle and two goats from the victim.
"The group of suspects, known as Masifunisane, a vigilante group reported to be dealing with stock theft between Mbizana and Harding areas, were accusing the victim of stealing goats.
“The matter was reported to the Hawks on January 19 and a multi-disciplinary intensive investigation led to the arrest of one suspect on the same day, while the other two suspects were arrested on Friday, January 20. More arrests are imminent as the intensive investigations continue.”