New attorney for accused in kidnapping and ransom case

The case of the kidnapping of an Inanda boy would sit again in the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court in February. Picture: Anelisa Kubheka

The case of the kidnapping of an Inanda boy would sit again in the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court in February. Picture: Anelisa Kubheka

Published Jan 17, 2024


Durban — The trial of four men charged in relation to the kidnapping of an Inanda boy will resume in the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court next month.

The boy was 11 in 2022 when he was kidnapped. His mother paid R90 000 ransom to his alleged kidnappers, including her neighbour, who is alleged to be the mastermind behind the crime.

Lindokuhle Mthokozisi Thabede, 29, Mvelo Khuzwayo, 29, Fisokuhle Mathews Mbatha, 32, and the 40-year-old neighbour of the child are alleged to have kidnapped the boy at gunpoint. They kept him at a house and demanded R1 million ransom from the child’s mother.

The child’s neighbour cannot be named to protect the minor child’s identity.

The trial was meant to have started last week and was scheduled to sit over three days, but that did not materialise as the lawyer for two of the accused did not pitch. This was allegedly due to funds being owed. However, one of the accused told the court he had paid the lawyer.

On Tuesday, Mbatha’s new lawyer presented himself to the court and lawyer Xolani Dlamini, who represented Thabede and Khuzwayo, would now also represent the neighbour.

The four men are charged with kidnapping of a minor, kidnapping and extortion.

It is alleged on May 18, 2022, in uMzinyathi in Inanda, the men kidnapped the child just a stone’s throw from his home as he was being driven to school.

They also allegedly kidnapped the child’s driver and forced him into the boot of a car at gunpoint.

It is alleged that the accused later that day contacted the child’s mother, demanding ransom of R1m, failing which the child would be killed.

After the child was kidnapped the child’s mother contacted the police; the ransom was given to the accused under surveillance by police.

The child was kept in a certain house from the morning of that day until being rescued by police after one of the accused volunteered information about the child’s location. This was after police intercepted the vehicle the accused had been travelling in.

The ransom money was recovered in the home of one of the accused.

The neighbour was the last accused to be arrested after being linked by cellphone evidence.

Thabede, Khuzwayo and Mbatha remain in custody as they were denied bail, while the neighbour is currently out on bail.

On Tuesday in court, State prosecutor Kaystree Ramsamujh asked for the matter to be adjourned for the attorneys to consult with their new clients and a “way forward in the matter”.

The case was adjourned until February 12.

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