Mpumalanga: Woman rescued from kidnapping, suspect arrested

At least one suspect has been arrested in connection with the alleged kidnapping of a 31-year-old woman in Witbank, Mpumalanga, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has said in the province.

“A 22 year old suspect, from the Kingdom of Eswatini, was arrested when the dedicated SAPS team members from different disciplines acted swiftly on the call to assist the helpless victim from Tweefontein. Information was cascaded to police by the victim’s uncle after receiving a call from the victim (his niece),” said SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.

MPUMALANGA WOMAN KIDNAPPED FOR RANSOM

The woman’s alleged kidnappers took her phone and also demanded ransom of R15 000 in exchange for her release. Mpumalanga police, who were roped in to assist, say they then used their skills to rescue her and also track the perpetrators.

“Investigation team consisted of members from Kwamhlanga, Tweefontein, Witbank SAPS as well as Middleburg Flying squad. In the early hours of today (Tuesday, 16 August 2022), the suspects’ vehicle was tracked down at Clarinet (in Witbank), believed to be heading to the ATM,” Mohlala added.

The three suspects soon noticed the police and two of them, an eSwatini and South African national, stopped the car and fled the scene on foot. The third suspect was arrested and the woman rescued.

“Upon further investigation, precious stones alleged to be diamond were found in their Grey VW Golf 4. This motor vehicle which was also fitted with Mpumalanga registration plates that does not match the information on the Eswatini licence disc displayed. The vehicle and precious stones were confiscated for further investigation” Mohlala said.

The suspect is expected to appear in the Kwamhlanga Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 17 August 2022 facing charges of kidnapping and extortion however more charges could be added as the investigation continues.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has welcomed the arrests, saying in part: “Be as it may, the team is still pursuing the remaining suspects and we want each one of them to be brought to book. We had such incidents in the past where females were kidnapped for a ransom. We hope to make a breakthrough with regard to linking the suspect to other crimes committed elsewhere”

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