South Africa: Police Arrest Two Suspects for Kidnapping an 11-Year-Old Girl

press release

A 42-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman are expected to appear at the Emalahleni Magistrate's Court tomorrow, 22 January 2020, after having been arrested on Monday, 20 January 2020 for allegedly Kidnapping an 11-year-old girl on 30 November 2019, at Vosman area, near Witbank.

According to reports, the teenage girl was made to believe that her mother sent people to come and fetch her (girl) as the mother was not at home at the time. The other members of the family never suspected that anything could have been wrong whilst the girl was so excited and trusted the man who acted politely as well as convincing. The girl was kidnapped and the family did not hear of her whereabouts until the next day, 01 December 2019, when the suspects called the mother to demand a ransom money amounting to R250 000-00, in an exchange for the child. The suspects indicated by then that the child was in Nelspruit. The mother was also informed that she must not alert police about the kidnapping if she ever wanted to see her child again.

The 27-year-old mother who was desperately longing to see her daughter, informed the other family members about the call that she received from the suspects and police were immediately contacted. Police did not waste time with their investigation as the child was in a vulnerable situation also in the hands of greedy and heartless people who could do anything to get money. Out of desperation, the family drove to Nelspruit to check if they could verify the information provided by the suspects. Within a few hours after opening a case of kidnapping, the suspects became aware that they could be in trouble and they released the child and informed the mother that the child was at Vosman not in Nelspruit as they claimed earlier. The family drove back again to Vosman and found the little girl unharmed. Police were informed about the developments and they intensified their investigation.

Preliminary probe has since revealed that there is a close member of the family that is involved in this whole saga and is alleged to have been part of the plan to kidnap the little girl. Police cannot rule out the possibility of adding more charges to the suspects.

The Provincial Commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma has condemned the kidnapping of the child and on the same breath thanked police for putting the pair behind bars. "The family is a social structure where children are nurtured and protected. This is an environment where children should feel safe. It is very disturbing when people take advantage of the vulnerable children and use them to demand cash. We welcome their arrest and hope that justice will be served, "said General Zuma.

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