Suspect caught after kidnap drama
Police and family join forces to find six-year-old
For three days the Cleveland police station was home to a Malvern couple after their child was kidnapped.
Celimpilo Ntombela, 42, and Phindile Mchunu, 37, spent hours each day negotiating for the return of their six-year-old son.
The boy was kidnapped on Thursday.
Mchunu said two men came to her home on Thursday afternoon.
“I did not think much of it when I first saw the two men. They asked me where my son was and I told them he was at creche,” Mchunu said.
“I thought they knew him because a lot of people visit this yard.
“They came back later and found him, and they spoke to him but I did not pay much attention.
“He went around the house and I just thought he went to play.
“About 30 minutes later I inquired from people about his whereabouts and no one knew where he was.”
The couple and neighbours searched for the child with no success.
Ntombela said they then went to a prophet who said their son was gone and there was not much they could do. They then went to the police for help.
The kidnappers initially demanded R60 000, which was too much for the parents.
“One of the men then called my daughter and wife later and demanded R16 000.”
The couple had only raised R3 000 by Friday morning.
When the kidnappers called, Mchunu said she refused to deposit the money without talking to her son. “I spoke to him on the phone. He asked me when I would fetch him. I told him that I would come soon, it broke my heart to hear him ask for me.”
With the police’s knowledge, the couple deposited R3 000 at a Shoprite store.
The kidnappers then demanded another R3 000 which was deposited on Sunday morning.
By noon, the police had traced the kidnappers and arrested one of them in Orange Farm, where the boy was found. Msizi was reunited with his parents at the police station.
Ntombela said they suspected someone they know wanted to extort money from them.
“Our daughter was in a car accident in 2012. We received a road accident payout three years ago. I think someone who knows us thinks that we have [lots of] money,” he said.
“The money was put into a trust. We only get money for rent every month. We do not have access to the money.”
Captain Mavela Masondo said the suspect was expected to appear in court today.
Phindile Mchunu's son was allegedly kidnapped and the perpetrators demanded a ransom. The boy has been found.