Kidnapped Gauteng man rescued in midnight raid, 3 people arrested

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The Lenasia South house where Zaheer Asmal was rescued.
The Lenasia South house where Zaheer Asmal was rescued.
PHOTO: Supplied
  • Police rescued Zaheer Asmal in Lenasia South, Gauteng.
  • He was kidnapped outside his business premises last week.
  • In the last week, police have arrested eight alleged kidnappers.

"Thank God he is home and fine!

That was all Mohamed Asmal could say on Tuesday morning after police rescued his brother, Zaheer.

The car used in Zaheer Asmal's kidnapping
Police recovered the car Zaheer Asmal was kidnapped in last week.

Zaheer was kidnapped outside his business in De Deur last week.

In a late-night swoop on Monday, police rescued him in Lenasia South.

Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said the national Crime Intelligence anti-kidnapping task team led a multi-disciplinary operation to rescue him.

Mathe said that just before midnight, a team comprising the SAPS special task force, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department, and officials from private security companies, entered a house in Lenasia South and rescued Zaheer. She said he was not physically harmed.

Police also recovered the car that was used to kidnapped Zaheer, as well as a firearm. Three people were arrested - one South African, one Mozambican and one Malawian.

Mathe said investigators would probe whether the three people were linked to other kidnappings in Gauteng.

They have been charged with kidnapping and are expected to appear in court soon. 

Asmal said Zaheer was doing well.

"He is ok. They slapped him around a bit but he is physically fine. He is traumatised but he is here and we will go through it as a family."

He added that police kept the family informed of the situation throughout the ordeal.

"I have to commend the SAPS and Vision Tactical. The SAPS team went above and beyond. We had the help of the hostage team that coached me throughout. They were superb."

According to Mathe, the latest arrest brings to eight the number of alleged kidnappers who were arrested in the last week.

"We are closing in on these kidnappers and the identified syndicates. We are hot on the heels of these captors, and it is encouraging that we are able to rescue people and return them safely to their families," she said.

A man who is believed to be a mastermind in the kidnappings was among those arrested.  

The alleged mastermind and his group are alleged to have been involved in the kidnapping of Jahyr Abdullah, a Mozambican national and his friend on 15 October last year.

They have also allegedly been linked to the kidnapping of Yasin Bhiku, an Indian national who was kidnapped in the driveway of his home in Lenasia. He was unharmed when police rescued him.

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