Four suspects who kidnapped 4-year-old in Durban for alleged Nkandla 'ritual' appear in court: File Picture.
Four suspects who kidnapped 4-year-old in Durban for alleged Nkandla 'ritual' appear in court: File Picture.

Four suspects who kidnapped 4-year-old in Durban for alleged Nkandla 'ritual' appear in court

By Yogashen Pillay Time of article published Dec 7, 2021

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DURBAN - FOUR suspects appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court yesterday on kidnapping charges in connection with an incident in which a 4-year-old girl was snatched from Clairwood.

The incident took place in Dayal Road in Clairwood last Friday.

Police found the child 24 hours later.

The court heard yesterday from the State that two of the suspects had reportedly confessed to the kidnapping.

The suspects are not being named as two are related to the victim and cannot be identified in order to protect her identity.

The other two suspects have not been named due to further investigations being carried out by the police.

The incident comes as the country is observing the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign.

Describing the kidnapping, police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said the child’s mother received a phone call from her neighbour while she was at work.

The neighbour informed her that she had seen a man leaving the area with her 4-year-old daughter.

“The complainant indicated that the child’s father was in Malawi and it was impossible that he would be around to fetch the child.”

Mbele said a kidnapping case was opened at Brighton Beach SAPS. A search team was immediately formed and a search ensued.

“After an intensive investigation by the team, the child was found at Q Section in uMlazi.

“The victim was found unharmed and reunited with her mother. All four suspects, aged between 17 and 79, were immediately arrested and taken to Brighton Beach police station for further processing.

“It is further alleged that the suspects were going to leave at 6.30am to Nkandla to perform a ritual with the child.”

State advocate Ranie Pillay told the court that the State would be opposing bail. Pillay also requested that the matter be adjourned for further investigation by police after the confession of the two suspects.

Magistrate F Seedat remanded the four suspects into police custody and adjourned the case until December 13.

Adeshini Naicker, the acting director at Childline KwaZulu-Natal, said parents needed to have conversations with their children about the dangers they faced.

“We now live in an evolved digital era and our parenting needs to adapt. Human trafficking is a reality… it’s happening right on our doorsteps.

“Social media activity seems to be the catalyst for these incidents.

“If we allow our children internet access, we also need to be responsible for supervision of our children’s activities.

“It’s appalling that this incident takes place while the entire country is advocating for the safety of our women and children.”

Naicker said parents and guardians should follow several tips to keep their children safe:

  • Know your child’s whereabouts at all times. Teach your children your first name and last name.
  • At a very early age, teach your child their name, address and a telephone number where a parent can be reached. Show your children how to find the nearest police station. Make sure your children know how to make local and long distance telephone calls.
  • Never leave children alone in a car, not even for a few seconds. Establish strict procedures for fetching children from school, movies, a friend’s house and so on. Establish a family code word that only you, your child and a trusted relative or friend knows.

THE MERCURY

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