‘Kidnapping suspect ‘too clever for his own good’, fails in bail bid

Western Cape High Court Judge Daniel Thulare. Picture: Armand Hough/Independent Newspapers

Western Cape High Court Judge Daniel Thulare. Picture: Armand Hough/Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 13, 2024


An alleged kidnapping mastermind and gangster will remain behind bars after his second attempt at being released on bail failed in the Western Cape High Court this week.

In his judgment, Judge Daniel Thulare said the case against Lungisani Cezula, 38, was a matter of “slim vang sy baas (too clever for his own good)” as the accused faces a range of charges related to gang and kidnapping activities.

Cizani, one of eight accused, faces 20 charges in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (Poca), kidnapping for ransom, assault, armed robbery and extortion.

According to Cizani, a father of four and breadwinner who had worked as a general artisan, his wife was struggling to make ends meet as she works in casual jobs. In his bail bid he had submitted that he wanted to be granted bail with the option of leaving the province for work opportunities.

There were six separate matters from which the charges against Cizani and his co-accused emanated and all involved Asian foreign nationals.

“The State alleged that kidnapping for ransom has become prevalent in the Western Cape with a number of syndicates operating at once.

“During 2020 there were 30 cases reported, with 37 foreign nationals kidnapped. The victims feared the kidnappers and were reluctant to involve the police ... The core of the syndicate of which Cizani is alleged to be a member, was involved in ongoing criminal activity which targeted the Chinese community to the extent that the Chinese Embassy got involved and engaged both the Western Cape provincial and the national government. Although there were reports of the use of firearms, no firearms were recovered,” the court papers read.

Judge Thulare said: “There is evidence by both members of the police who had the gang under surveillance ... including Cizani, as well as evidence of victims, which implicates him as an active member of the gang that created the problem of kidnapping and ransom demands from foreign nationals, and identified him as the leader.

“The interests of justice do not permit his release on bail. I am unable to conclude that the magistrate was wrong (in his previous bail application). I am also unable to express myself better than an Afrikaner when they say: ‘Slim vang sy baas’.”

Cape Times