Family’s fears for kidnapped man
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.