Sadeck Zhaun Ahmed was bundled into a bakkie in Woodstock.
Cape Town - While the family of an elderly city businessman kidnapped more than two weeks ago are still no closer to knowing his whereabouts, it has been revealed that Sadeck Zhaun Ahmed’s captors have allowed him to communicate with his eldest son.

Hanif Loonat, the family spokesperson, told the Weekend Argus: “The truth is there is contact between the father and the eldest son and we are waiting for the results of their discussions. We will not be going into the details of their discussions.”

Ahmed, 71, was snatched outside the Woodstock branch of his popular chain of fabric stores, Zhauns, on July 25.

According to police, Ahmed and his driver were at his car when a double-cab bakkie pulled up behind them, threatened Ahmed with a firearm and bundled him into the vehicle before they drove off, leaving his driver unharmed.

The double-cab was later found in Victoria Road, Woodstock.

Loonat denied media reports that the kidnappers had demanded a R44million ransom and rubbished rumours that a family member was about to fly to Johannesburg to pay the money. He described the speculation as “absolute nonsense, out of hand and far from the truth”.

“Reports of a demand for a ransom is nowhere near the truth. He is alive. That is what matters,” said Loonat.

He added that the rest of the family “were not threatened in any way” and were conducting their fabric business as “normal”.

“Under the circumstances, they are trying to cope,” said Loonat, who would not be drawn further, except to say communication between father and son had begun right after he had been taken. “It is difficult to say what state he is in,” Loonat commented.

On Friday, police spokesperson FC van Wyk said the case was under investigation but no arrests had been made.

“Kindly be advised that it is too early in this investigation to speculate. This office does not wish to speculate and will confirm details as soon as the investigation is concluded,” Van Wyk said.

Since last year, there has been a spate of kidnappings of businessmen and it was feared that a syndicate was targeting wealthy members of the Bangladesh, Indian and Pakistani community and demanding ransoms of up to R5m.

In September, Bonteheuwel grocer Mahabub Rahman was snatched in a car park at the Waterfront. He was missing for a week and kidnappers demanded R4m to be paid in Bangladesh, where police arrested suspects leading to Rahman’s release.

In November, Constantia businessman Naushad Deshmukh Khan, 46, was kidnapped by five men when he left his Eastern designer wear boutique, Khan’s, in Ryland’s Estate.

His kidnappers dropped him off in Thornton two months later in a dazed state. Mystery surrounded his kidnapping but the police have not revealed any details.

In December, a devout Muslim businessman, Mustapha Goolan, was kidnapped outside his shop in Lotus River and while in captivity he was taunted with pork meals which he refused to eat because of his faith. He survived on water.

Police found him a few days later in Khayelitsha. His three kidnappers were arrested after demanding a ransom of R10m.

Police have urged anyone with information relating to the Ahmed kidnapping to contact Warrant Officer David Miles on 0214862840 or crimestop on 086 001 0111.

Weekend Argus