Fam­ily’s fears for kid­napped man

Sunday Tribune - - METRO - SIPHELELE BUTHELEZI siphelele.buthelezi@inl.co.za

THE fam­ily of a Dur­ban busi­ness­man kid­napped in Au­gust fear for his life.

Phi­lani Bhengu, the brother of Sikhum­buzo Mjwara, 41, owner of umh­langa’s up­mar­ket Bar­rio Res­tau­rant, said the fam­ily feared he had been killed.

Af­ter more than a month of search­ing for Mjwara, this week po­lice ar­rested three sus­pects be­lieved to be linked to his kid­nap­ping.

Among them are two Pi­eter­mar­itzburg po­lice­men aged 37 and a se­cu­rity guard, 39, who ap­peared in the Veru­lam Mag­is­trate’s Court this week and were charged for kid­nap­ping.

“The po­lice are still search­ing for his body. If he is re­ally dead, at least we need to get what­ever was left of his body,” said Bhengu.

“I have lit­tle hope that my brother could still be alive.

“We are bro­ken as a fam­ily and dis­ap­pointed that the peo­ple who are trusted with our safety and who are sup­posed to up­hold the law are in­volved in this.

“We can never ever trust the po­lice. I am even scared to be stopped by any po­lice on the road, we can’t trust them any more,” he said.

Mjwara was ap­par­ently kid­napped out­side the court on Au­gust 30, af­ter at­tend­ing a civil case over a fi­nan­cial dis­pute.

Mjwara, a for­mer ethek­wini Mu­nic­i­pal­ity em­ployee, is the di­rec­tor of a chain of busi­nesses, in­clud­ing sev­eral min­ing, in­vest­ment and life­style com­pa­nies.

His brother said at the time of the kid­nap­ping Mjwara had been in the com­pany of his wife and his body­guard, who has al­legedly dis­ap­peared.

“Ap­par­ently they were ap­proached by po­lice­men who pro­duced work cards and the body­guard checked and saw that it was le­git and al­lowed Skhum­buzo to get in their car. It’s clear those po­lice were hired; it’s shock­ing that state re­sources were used to com­mit crime,” said Bhengu.

“This has been a dif­fi­cult time for the fam­ily, my mother’s health has de­te­ri­o­rated.

“We sus­pect ev­ery­thing that hap­pened is linked to ten­ders.

“My brother was ed­u­cated and owned busi­nesses.”

SAPS spokesper­son Thu­lani Zwane said the sus­pects had been re­manded in cus­tody and would ap­ply for bail on Oc­to­ber 15.

SIKHUM­BUZO Mjwara, 41, the owner of umh­langa’s up­mar­ket Bar­rio Res­tau­rant, was kid­napped in Au­gust. His fam­ily fear the worst.

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