Sus­pect caught af­ter kid­nap drama

Po­lice and fam­ily join forces to find six-year-old

Sowetan - - News - By Per­tu­nia Mafok­wane

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.

/ MDUDUZI NDZINBGI

Phindile Mchunu's son was al­legedly kid­napped and the per­pe­tra­tors de­manded a ran­som. The boy has been found.

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