Gauteng man abducted in broad daylight, bundled into a bakkie by four assailants
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Pretoria – The South African Police Service (SAPS) is investigating an abduction of a 28-year-old man, who was seized by unidentified men in broad daylight, in a parking lot in Benoni, Gauteng.
“An abduction case has been registered at Benoni police station. It is alleged that a 28-year-old man was forcefully taken by four unknown men at Liverpool Road,” SAPS spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Sello told Independent Media.
“The circumstances surrounding the incident are unknown at this stage. Police request anyone who may have information about the incident to please contact the SAPS Crime Stop Line on 08600 10111.”
In a video, which has since gone viral on social media, the Benoni man – seemingly dressed in Muslim regalia – is seen being being bundled into a Toyota Hilux.
Outspoken anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee was one of the numerous Twitter users who shared the disturbing video.
Abramjee said kidnappings are evidently on the rise “dramatically” in South Africa.
“There is no doubt that we are seeing dramatic increases in kidnappings in South Africa. In neighbouring Mozambique, they still continue and it has been ongoing for a number of years.
“I think we have some major, dangerous, highly-skilled organised gangs at work, we are also finding more and more smaller, so-called copycat gangs trying their luck,” said Abramjee.
“Today [Friday] there was an incident in Benoni where the son of the owner of a hardware store was taken and kidnapped. I do not have more details.”
Abramjee said in more than 99% of kidnappings in South Africa, the motive is a ransom.
On Thursday, South Africans woke up to the news that the four Moti brothers who were kidnapped three weeks ago while on their way to school in Limpopo had been reunited with their parents, Naazim and Shakira Moti.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said officers in Vuwani received a call from a resident on Wednesday night saying that the children arrived at their house.
Abramjee said it is highly probable that the sophisticated kidnapping syndicates are getting inside help from corrupt law enforcement officers.
“I have said on record that I wouldn’t be surprised if corrupt, criminal cops or even metro police officials might be aiding and abetting some of these syndicates. I hope that the police will make arrests.
“There is a special kidnapping task team … I don’t if they are doing enough, but I think they can do much more.”
Abramjee added that the SAPS needs highly-experienced detectives to head up the kidnappings’ task.
In Mpumalanga, a 38-year-old woman is set to appear in court after she was arrested for allegedly kidnapping a newborn baby from its mother after she pretended to be a social worker.
“The 38-year-old woman was arrested (on Wednesday) 10 November 2021, by police at Embalenhle, for the alleged kidnapping of a newborn baby.
“According to the police report, on 28 October 2021, the suspect introduced herself to the baby's mother at the local taxi rank, claiming to be a social worker who helps unemployed young mothers,” said Mpumalanga SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.
“She (the suspect) then sent the baby's mother to go and buy her food at a shop nearby and offered to hold the baby. When the mother returned from the shop, she found that the suspect had disappeared with her baby.”
The devastated mother then reported the matter to the police, and an investigation into the matter was launched immediately.
“Police managed to gather information and made a breakthrough on Wednesday, which led them to a house at Extension, 5 in Embalenhle. They found the stolen baby inside the house with the suspect, whom they swiftly arrested and charged with kidnapping,” said Mohlala.
As advice to families, Abramjee, who has been involved in numerous investigations for his crime-combating television show, said the best action is for families to report incidents of kidnapping to the police immediately.
“Report it immediately and work with the police. We know, as a matter of fact, that many victims’ families pay the ransom quietly and they forget about it. No wonder some of these criminals continue to walk free, and they continue with the kidnappings.
“We need to pursue it. Yes, it’s good to have one’s loved one returned but we need to make sure that we all do our bit to ensure these gangs are arrested,” said Abramjee.