The desperate South African family of a 12-year-old boy snatched off the streets of Kuala Lumpur are worried that speculation about the case could hinder his safe return.
Grade 7 pupil Nayati Moodliar, whose parents are from Cape Town, was on his way to school on Friday when he was grabbed by two men and bundled into a black car.
Nayati’s father and mother, Shamelin Moodliar and Janice Smith, have dual SA and Dutch citizenship and his grandparents live in Cape Town.
On Sunday, on the Facebook page “Please help us to find Nayati Moodliar” – set up to gather information and provide updates – the family said they still had no idea where the boy was.
“The speculation and rumours on the internet can actually hinder Nayati’s return, so we urge everyone to please not post anything that is speculation-based,” read a post on Sunday.
Earlier, in a YouTube clip, Shamelin begged the kidnappers to let his son go.
“He is our only son. He is a good boy and we need him back. We don’t want any trouble; we just want our son back. It’s not too late to let him go. Nayati will find his way home. It’s not too late, we won’t press charges…”
Meanwhile the SA government has condemned Nayati’s kidnapping.
Clayson Monyela, spokesman for the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, called on the Malaysian government to continue with its efforts to secure the boy’s release and to bring the perpetrators to book.
Monyela said the SA government had been in contact with the family in Malaysia and in SA. “The South African high commissioner in Malaysia has visited the family to express the government’s support to them. The high commission is in daily contact with the relevant authorities.
“We also call on the public to support the Moodliar family until they are reunited with their son.”
Nayati’s parents previously lived in Cape Town.
His father, Shamelin, attended Bishops and his mother, Janice Smith, Norman Henshilwood High School.
The couple also has a six-year-old daughter, Saffiya.
Nayati was on his way to the Mont’ Kiara International School when he was grabbed by two men and bundled into a black car.
Messages of support for the family streamed in on Facebook on Sunday.
“Nayati will be coming home soon! By God’s grace… have faith, Moodliar family,” wrote one user. “We are praying for the safe return of Nayati,” wrote another.
According to the The Weekend Argus, Janice’s sister, Caroline Swanepoel, said the couple had met while at school and had moved to England and then Holland.
They had lived there until Shamelin was promoted to the position of restructuring consultant in Kuala Lampur.
The paper reported that according to Swanepoel, a hostage negotiator had been called to help the couple in Malaysia.
It was also reported that Shamelin had told a TV station that they had no idea whether their son had been taken for a ransom, or been snatched to be sent to Thailand for prostitution purposes. - Cape Argus