Fi­nal­ity sought in kidnap trial

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - BER­NADETTE WOLHUTER

THE CLOCK is tick­ing for the State to com­plete its in­ves­ti­ga­tions into a Dur­ban woman and her lover who stand ac­cused of stag­ing a one-month-old baby’s kid­nap­ping from the city cen­tre in March.

The two came be­fore mag­is­trate Ma­homed Mo­tala in the Dur­ban Mag­is­trate’s Court yes­ter­day. The woman wore what has now be­come a sig­na­ture shawl draped over her face, and the man wore a red T-shirt.

Dur­ing their brief ap­pear­ance, Mo­tala an­nounced that the State had un­til the end of next month to fi­nalise its case.

The State had re­quested a four-week ad­journ­ment and asked that it not be marked fi­nal, say­ing two po­lice state­ments were still out­stand­ing.

How­ever, the woman’s lawyer, Mfana­futhi Biyela, as well as the man’s lawyer, Andile Dakela, both said they would rather ad­journ the mat­ter for a slightly longer pe­riod and have it marked fi­nal.

Mo­tala agreed this would be bet­ter.

“It is time this high-pro­file case met some clo­sure,” he said.

The trial was ad­journed to July 28.

The in­fant at the heart of the case was re­ported kid­napped by her mother af­ter a “hi­jack­ing” in Greyville early in March.

News quickly spread and a na­tion­wide search for the baby was launched.

The in­fant was found three days later.

The pair face charges of fraud and de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice.

They are out on bail of R1 000 each, and the baby re­mains in a place of safety.

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