Jerry Ogbuwany Gike escorted out of the Durban Magistrate’s Court by detective warrant officer Siven Naidoo after his appearance. Photo: Chanelle Lutchman.
Durban - A MAN believed to be linked to the disappearance of wealthy Westville businesswoman Sandra Moonsamy has been arrested.

Wednesday marks 38 days since Moonsamy, 45, the financial director at her family-owned business, Crossmoor Transport, was taken by gunmen near the M13 and Stapleton Road intersection, in Pinetown.

It is believed her kidnappers are demanding R150 million in exchange for her safe return.

Jerry Ogbuwany Gike, 35, a hairdressing salon owner, operating on Mahatma Gandhi Road, was arrested on Thursday afternoon.

He was found in possession of a cellphone allegedly belonging to Moonsamy. This is the first breakthrough in the case since her disappearance on May 30.

Days after Moonsamy was kidnapped, police and a private investigator traced her cellphone signal to the North Beach area.

However, the phone was switched off before police could pin the exact location.

On Monday, Gike appeared before magistrate T. Ngema in the Durban Magistrate’s Court.

Dressed in grey jeans and a blue jacket, he told the court he would need an interpreter for his next court appearance.

Attorney, Abdul Shaikjee, confirmed with State prosecutor Kuveshnie Pillay that he would be acting on behalf of Gike.

Gike is expected to return to court later this week for a decision on his bail.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Maluadzi confirmed the arrest.

“There has been a breakthrough in terms of the case. However, we do not want to get deeper into the details as this is a sensitive matter and we are still investigating.”

Speculation is rife that Moonsamy’s kidnapping was linked to a bad business deal or a ransom demand.

A source told POST it appeared that a syndicate was behind Moonsamy’s disappearance. The source added that Moonsamy had made contact with family members last week.

“She told her family she was fine. At first there was concern that it could have been a pre-recorded message.

“However, her family are confident that it was her.

“We believe the kidnappers are demanding a R150 million ransom. However, it is unclear if the family can rake up this amount of cash.”

Moonsamy’s family said investigations into her whereabouts and efforts to ensure her safe return home were still continuing.

Her brother, Inderan Naicker, said: “While every passing day makes the burden on our family heavier, we remain optimistic that she will be returned to us safely.

“We are working closely with authorities to follow up on any new leads and seek out new details, which could assist us in locating her.

“We request that any information pertinent to the investigation be directed immediately to the Hawks Reaction Unit on 086 123 4333,” he said.

POST