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Durban - Two men who allegedly duped an elderly woman into believing she had muthi on her and then rubbed her with cabbage leaves and robbed her of R500 appeared in the Mtubatuba Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. 

Tholakele Bayeni 54, and Sipho Sishi, 65, face charges of kidnapping and robbery. 

According to KZN police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele this is the duo's third appearance and they were remanded in police custody until June 19 for further investigation. 

According to Mbele, the 77-year-old victim was walking in the Mtubatuba CBD when an unknown woman touched her shoulder with a green substance on May 31, 2019. 

"An unknown man appeared from nowhere and they both informed her that she will have bad luck if she does not remove the green muthi (traditional medicine) and her money will be of no value.

"Fearing bad luck, she followed the two accused to their vehicle as they promised to help her remove the curse and accompany her to the police station to report the matter.

"She was taken to a grey VW Polo driven by unknown man, where the suspects brushed the victim with cabbage leaf. 

"The suspects removed R500 from her possession and drove away off with her still in the vehicle. She then realised that she was being deceived and that the vehicle was not going to the police station as promised."

Mbele said the woman attempted to open the car door and driver lost control of the vehicle in the process. 

"Police officers who were performing crime prevention duties noticed that the vehicle was being driven recklessly and gave chase. The police officers apprehended two suspects while the driver managed to flee the scene. The suspects returned the stolen money to the victim and detained at the Mtubatuba police station."

Mbele said following the arrest another victim who heard about the arrest of the suspects came forward and informed the police that he was also robbed by suspects while returning from the bank. 

"The man alleged that he was approached by an unknown woman who asked him to direct her to a toilet. Out of respect for the elderly woman, the victim agreed to direct her to a restroom. The suspect complained about the state of the toilet being filthy. She requested that he take her to an isolated area instead. While waiting for her an unknown vehicle approached and he was robbed of R115 000 by the occupants who fled the scene after the robbery. The matter was reported to Mtubatuba SAPS for investigation," said Mbele. 

Police have appealed to anyone who was robbed by the same suspects to contact police at Mtubatuba SAPS or the investigating officer Sergeant Mthembu on 072 275 8764.

IOL