Four in court for official’s kidnapping

Mankweng - Three teenagers and a man accused of kidnapping a senior government official appeared in the Mankweng Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, Limpopo police said.

Their case was postponed to January 31, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

The four are accused of kidnapping Ephraim Mashiane, 54, a director in the province's economic development, environment and tourism department.

Mashiane went missing on September 1 last year. His burnt-out car was later found in Ga-Mothapo, about 35km east of Polokwane.

His body was found floating in Schoonoord Dam in Sekhukhune, about 150km from the initial crime scene, a month after his disappearance. He been stabbed several times. It was suspected that he was hijacked before he was killed.

The four were arrested on January 1. Two of them are 19-years-old, one is 16 and the other 20. They have been charged with kidnapping, hijacking, and murder.

Mulaudzi said because the kidnapping and the murder took place in two different districts they would appear in two separate courts. The cases could be joined later.

They would appear in the Sekhukhune Magistrate's Court on January 22 on the murder charge. They face the kidnapping charge in the Mankweng Magistrate's Court. - Sapa