Two men and a woman have been found guilty of kidnapping Sisanda Ngcawuzele, daughter of popular restaurant owner Mzoli Ngcawuzele.

Luther Kwinana, Mzwamadolo Tyuluba and his girlfriend Nandipha Mshudulu appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court yesterday to face judgment on counts of kidnapping, robbery with aggravated circumstances, illegal possession of a firearm, extortion and alternative counts of fraud and theft.

They were found guilty of posing as prospective clients for Sisanda’s promotions company in December 2006, then requesting a meeting at a Parklands house, where she was held at gunpoint.

They demanded her car keys, cellphone, and bank card pin codes, and police later established they had withdrawn R9 000 from two of her accounts.

They then called her father using her phone, and demanded R300 000 for her safe release.

Mzoli Ngcawuzele contacted the police, who arrested Kwinana shortly afterwards.

He led them to Sisanda, who had spent three days tied to a chair. She was severely dehydrated and in need of medical attention.

Mshudulu was arrested, along with a friend who turned State witness. Tyuluba fled the city before the bust but was arrested a year later in the Eastern Cape.

Yesterday magistrate Gavin du Plessis found Kwinana and Tyuluba guilty of all five counts. Mshudulu was found guilty of kidnapping and extortion. She was released on R15 000 bail.

After the judgment, Kwinana apologised “about everything”, via a translator, saying he had heard in prison that Sisanda was happy, “and that made me happy because it is good when people put bad experiences behind them”.

Ngcawuzele said he was happy with the verdict, especially after the lengthy trial period.

“We can finally put this behind us and move on as a family,” he added.

Sentencing is

on April 9. - Weekend Argus