Ottawa businessman, Dawood Safla is seen at his workplace the day after the alleged kidnapping. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng / African News Agency / ANA
Durban - KZN police have confirmed a case of kidnapping and carjacking is being investigated after an Ottawa businessman and his employee were allegedly kidnapped from a scrapyard on Monday night. 

According to Reaction Unit SA boss Prem Balram, three men entered the property and produced firearms around 5pm on Monday.

Dawood Safla, 44, and his employee, Shafee were allegedly forced into Safla’s Hilux bakkie at the Pinewood Road premises, moments before Safla could conduct his evening prayer.

Balram said staff managed to lock a security gate preventing the gunmen from entering.

“The suspects then forced Safla and one of his employees into his Toyota Hilux bakkie and sped off.”

It is alleged that the kidnappers requested a ransom of R10 000 of which only R2000 was paid by the family.

The victims were allegedly tortured and burnt with pieces of plastic while being held captive.

Balram said suspects made contact with Safla's family and demanded a ransom which was paid.

“Several law enforcement agencies which included private security, police as well as relatives of the missing men searched for the kidnapped victims who were eventually located on Inanda Road.”

“The two explained that they were being tortured and burnt with pieces of plastic while being held captive. The victims were restrained with cable ties. The suspects threatened to murder them if the ransom was not paid.”

They however managed to escape the clutches of the their captors and were found by a passing security vehicle.

Safla however believed this was no ordinary robbery and was a planned attack that was well calculated.

“They knew exactly what they were doing.”

Safla said they were taken to a bush and were held there in captivity.

They made us jump out of the vehicle and put men with us to watch over us.  They kept us there for five hours  but we eventually managed to break free and get help.”

He said they flagged down a passing vehicle, which happened to belong to Jikelela Security who were searching for the victims. 

Owner of Jikelela Security, Derrick Naidoo who had been driving the security vehicle said he was alerted to the matter by a member of Safla’s family.

He said he immediately went to search for the victims with his team in Inanda Road where the vehicle was found earlier.

“We went to the scene and looked in the surrounding bush and on the roadway. We eventually found the victims about 500 meters away from where the vehicle was found. They looked disorientated and traumatized but were otherwise fine.”

Naidoo said they received information that the suspects fled to Amaoti.

“With the victims, we went in pursuit of the suspects but could not find anyone matching the descriptions given. We then met with police who interviewed the victims on the incident.”

Colonel Thembeka Mbele confirmed that a case of carjacking and kidnapping was opened at Verulam police station for investigation.

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