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Kidnap victim released unharmed, but fears grow as incidents pile up

Huzaifa Sange

Huzaifa Sange

Published May 17, 2022

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CAPE TOWN - After being kidnapped by armed men at his home in Hanover Park last Friday, Huzaifa Sange has returned home safely to his family.

At about 8pm on Friday, four armed men allegedly went into the family home in Lodewyk Street, where the business operates, under the pretext of being customers, before they robbed the family and fled with Sange. The suspects fled the scene with the family’s motor vehicle, a white Hyundai, in an unknown direction.

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Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said police investigations continue.

“The 21-year-old male who was reported kidnapped on Friday at about 8pm in Lodewyk Street, Newfields, Hanover Park, was reunited with his family on Monday. He is unharmed,” said Van Wyk.

Earlier this month, police rescued a 31-year-old man who had been held hostage in Langa after suspects entered a business premises in Dunoon and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, and the victim.

Anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee said the issue of kidnappings was not new, and he had seen a dramatic rise in incidents, especially in the Cape Town area, where small shopkeepers and business people are being targeted.

“Some of foreign origin are being targeted; we have seen more and more cases being reported in the Eastern Cape and in Gauteng,” said Abramjee.

“In the Cape Town area we have a few active cases of kidnappings, and they are still the subject of police investigations. I think the police can do a bit more and there is no doubt that we are dealing with a smaller number of gangs going for a quick buck, and that is a worry. Police have made some breakthroughs in some of the areas, but a lot of work needs to be done. There is a national kidnapping task team and they have made some inroads, especially in other provinces,” Abramjee added.

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Criminology expert and senior researcher at UCT’s Centre of Criminology Dr. Simon Howell said there had been an increase in kidnappings and a focus on small business owners.

“I think also it is because of economic challenges that South Africa is facing at the moment. Ultimately with the policing issue, one needs to engage with the underlying reasons why things are this way. We need to prioritise and engage with a task team or response unit that can deal specifically with these issues and these crimes. A lot of these kidnappings are done by the same group,” said Howell.

Cape Times

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