Despite the safe return of kidnapped 6-year-old from Kensington, arrests yet to be made

Asghar, 6, was kidnapped at his home in Kensington, but has been safely returned. Picture: Armand Hough/ African News Agency (ANA)

Asghar, 6, was kidnapped at his home in Kensington, but has been safely returned. Picture: Armand Hough/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 19, 2022


Cape Town - Despite the safe return of Mohammed Shanawaaz Asghar, arrests are yet to be made in the kidnapping case.

Police, family members, and civic groups confirmed the return of the six-year-old late on Thursday night, but did not provide further details on his safe return home.

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Police spokesman Andre Traut said the investigation is still under way and arrests are yet to be made.

"It is on this basis that further information regarding the case cannot be disclosed at this stage," Traut said.

Asghar was taken from his home at 7.30am on Wednesday morning, as the family prepared to leave to drop the children off at school. Asghar was taken by six armed suspects, in two vehicles, in the presence of the family at their home in Kensington.

According to the police, the suspects fled in two Volkswagen Polos, colour silver and white.

Several reports of a R500 000 ransom demand had circulated, however, this could not be conclusively confirmed, and even denied by those closest to, and working with the family.

Asghar, a Grade R learner at Hidayatul Islam Primary School, lives just 400 metres and a five minute walk from the school.

School Governing Body chairperson Dawood Esack said he was not aware of any ransom request made. Esack was in frequent contact with the family and is handling media queries related to the kidnapping.

Esack said Asghar’s father was by no means a wealthy businessman, and instead helped his brother-in-law who is ill, at his informal place of business.

“He is basically just servicing a few customers, and if he does that for about two hours in the morning, then that's it and then he’s back home. It's not even a shop,” Esack said.

Prior to Asghar’s return, the Kensington Community Policing Forum (CPF) said progress had been made in the case.

A member of the CPF, who requested to remain anonymous, said police were in the area on the morning of the kidnapping.

“They patrolled there earlier in the morning, and then not (much) later, the father stopped the police van that was also patrolling and one of the guys (police) said they patrolled there not long ago and there was nothing,” the source said.

Anti-crime activist experienced in kidnapping cases, Hanif Loonat said there are predominantly three reasons for kidnappings, namely for enrichment purposes, revenge of any sort, or a deal gone sour and in most cases illicit deals.

“From the ransom (claims), if this is correct, it tells me that it is a break-away, a copycat kidnapping ring. These are guys that are doing snatching and now doing it for themselves, realising that there is potential, much more money to earn than what they earned as snatchers.

“Kidnapping leaves a very bad scar and imagine a child that has been kidnapped, kept under the conditions that we are familiar with. The type of future that they’re going to be living, we cannot allow this. We cannot allow our kids to live with fear, in fact our vulnerable community members,” Loonat said.

Anyone with information should contact crime stop on 0860010111.

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Cape Argus