Zia, 15, Alaan, 13, Zayyad, 11, and Zidan, 6, who were kidnapped by seven gunmen last Wednesday. Picture: Supplied
Zia, 15, Alaan, 13, Zayyad, 11, and Zidan, 6, who were kidnapped by seven gunmen last Wednesday. Picture: Supplied

Breakthrough hopes in Moti brothers’ kidnapping with investigation at a ’sensitive stage’

By Logan Marshall Time of article published Oct 25, 2021

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Cape Town – The anguish of the kidnapped Moti brothers’ parents, Nazim and Shakira, rages on, with them being too scared to share further news on the case with the media.

Family lawyer Philip Smit, who believes the kidnapping is ransom-motivated, said they cannot risk the safety of Zia, 15, Alaan, 13, Zayyad, 11, and Zidan, 6, who were kidnapped by seven gunmen in the upmarket Nirvana suburb in Polokwane, Limpopo, near the Curro Heuwelkruin school on the R37/N1 on-ramp on Wednesday. Moti is the chief executive of Moti Auto, a Polokwane-based car dealership.

“We have been advised by the police to not engage as the investigation is in a sensitive phase and we cannot risk the safe return and wellbeing of the children,” Smit said.

Smith had earlier urged the community not to spread fake news. ’’We have a lot of fake news we come across on social media platforms. The boys have not been found and no ransom has been requested until now.”

Change Agent and former Miss Earth SA Catherine Constantinides posted on social media this morning: ’’May God bless us, protect us & guide us through this week! And may He continue to hold close to him the Moti brothers & family as they fight through this horrifying time!

’’Let us pray for a breakthrough in the case, and that Zia, Alaan, Zayaad & Zidan are returned home unharmed.’’

Another Twitter user posted : ’’We pray there is a lead & the decision to not release info is to avoid bungling the case. Waiting patiently for #MotiBrothers to return home.’’

While there has been no official confirmation that a ransom request has been made, crime expert Guy Lamb, from the University of Stellenbosch, told News24 a ransom demand could have been sent that specified that the police not be involved.

He described the kidnapping of the Moti brothers as ’’highly suspicious’’ and that it appears to have been a ’’highly organised kidnapping’’. Hostage negotiators and security risk analysts have also described the kidnapping of several children at once as highly unusual.

Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said there has never been communication or a demand from the kidnappers with regards to the Moti brothers.

“We haven’t found anything yet. We are unable to find the motive behind the kidnapping because there’s no arrest yet,” he said.

The Jamiatul Ulama SA - Council of Muslim Theologians (Jusa) has called on state authorities to make the investigation of the kidnapping of the Moti children a priority, TimesLive reported.

“It is a cowardly act to endanger the lives of young children through such kidnappings, a phenomenon which we have lamentably seen taking root in the country in recent years…

’’The perpetrators have to be apprehended and brought to book to ensure the safety and security of our neighbourhoods, especially for our innocent young ones, wherever they may be.

“Our thoughts and fervent prayers are for the boys, their relatives and friends as we express our support for the Moti family in these testing times filled with anguish, uncertainty and trepidation,” Jusa said.

In July, a 60-year-old Durban businessman was allegedly kidnapped and kept hostage for seven days before his family received a R10 million ransom demand.


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