Durban - Relatives of three teenage girls arrested for their alleged role in the hijacking of Durban North estate agent Dorothy Carlyle and her subsequent nine-hour ordeal dished out some tough love on Wednesday, refusing to allow them back home.
Their legal aid attorney, Shagan Balram, had no choice but to abandon their bail application after relatives made it clear that they were no longer welcome at home because they were running wild.
The three teenagers, two of them 15 and one 17, wiped tears from their eyes as they were lambasted by friends and family before Durban magistrate Vanitha Armu came into the court.
They told court staff that the three had refused to go to school and sometimes disappeared for a week at a time.
Investigating officer Constable Zanele Nene also confirmed in her affidavit opposing bail that the parents “had no control over their children”.
The teenagers appeared in court with S’thembiso Ntombela, 22, and Linolokuhle Dlamini, 25, both of KwaMashu, charged with robbery with aggravating circumstances and kidnapping relating to the events of the afternoon of October 2 when Carlyle, 60, was hijacked in the driveway of her home by three men, one of whom had a knife.
Artie Huntley, the attorney for the two men, said both would deny any involvement in the initial hijacking.
He said Ntombela had been driving Carlyle’s car, but another person had given it to him and he had been unaware that Carlyle was in the boot.
Ntombela had co-operated with police and had directed them to the address of the person who claimed to be the owner of the vehicle.
Dlamini claimed that Ntombela had picked him up at the roadside and he had no idea the car had been hijacked.
But prosecutor Nonjabulo Mkulisi read out an affidavit by the investigating officer in which she alleged bank cards belonging to Carlyle had been found in Ntombela’s possession on his arrest.
And Dlamini had, at one time, taken Carlyle from inside the car, tied her up, blindfolded her and put her in the boot.
The teenage girls, Mkulisi said, were passengers in the car and knew that Carlyle was in the boot because one of them demanded the PIN code for her bank card.
Giving a summary of Carlyle’s ordeal, Mkulisi said the estate agent had been threatened with a knife.
Carlyle spent most of the nine hours in the boot and was stabbed when she tried to stretch her legs. She was forced to hand over her bank card and PIN number and money was withdrawn from her account.
At one stage she was dragged into a building and assaulted on a concrete floor.
To stop her screaming a sock was put in her mouth. One of the assailants then tried to throttle her with a scarf.
When she was put back in the boot, she was wrapped tightly in a blanket with something heavy placed on top of her. At one stage one of her assailants said: “Shut up, you f****** white b****.”
She was rescued by police and private security while her car was parked outside a shebeen in KwaMashu. Mkulisi confirmed there were still three other suspects at large.
Denying bail to the two men, magistrate Armu said Carlyle had been “terrorised” and treated “inhumanely”.
While there is a presumption of innocence, the accused have not discharged the onus in the case to show exceptional circumstances why they should be released.”
The teenagers are being held at a place of safety. They will appear in court again on November 7. - The Mercury