Pretoria - The biological father of a seven-year-old girl who was kidnapped two weeks ago and one of his co-accused will spend Christmas in jail after they abandoned their bail application in the Pretoria Regional Court on Thursday.
Magistrate Peet Johnston was told that Ray Pahlo, 43, a US citizen, and his co-accused Jolen Elizabeth Ward, 22, of Canada, would not go ahead with their bail application and postponed the case to next month. No reason was given for the pair’s decision to drop their bail attempt.
Their four co-accused, all Zimbabwean nationals, Anton Marumbwa, Kaunda Shanduka, Nigel Munetsa and Langton Garinga, were granted bail of R1 500 each.
The State indicated that it was not opposed to bail and asked the court to order that the passports of the four Zimbabweans remain in the custody of the investigating officer.
The four were arrested soon after the kidnapping of Pura Pahlo outside the Waterkloof Primary School in Pretoria.
The accused face charges of kidnapping, conspiracy to kidnap and child abuse. Pahlo faces an additional charge of failure to comply with a court order relating to the child.
It is alleged Marumbwa, Shanduka, Munetsa and Garinga approached the girl’s foster mother as she was dropping her off at school.
They apparently posed as police officers and told the foster mother that she was being arrested for kidnapping.
They are said to have tried to force her out of her car and threatened to tie her up with cable ties. Pahlo and Ward then allegedly went to the passenger side of the vehicle, grabbed Pura and sped off.
It is alleged Pahlo had promised the Zimbabweans R5 000 each for their help. Pahlo and Ward were arrested after a tip-off to Lydenburg police that they were at a guest house in the area. Pura was safely returned to her family soon after.