Ngwelezana kidnapper sentenced
FOLLOWING an incident of house robbery and kidnapping committed in Ngwelezana last year, a 29-yearold man was last week convicted and sentenced.
Phumlani Masinga appeared at the Empangeni Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday where he was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for robbery with aggravated circumstances and a further five years on four counts of kidnapping. According to King Cetshwayo Cluster police spokesperson, Captain Mbongeni Mdlalose, Masinga, together with three other suspects – who are still at large – broke into a home in Ngwelezana in November and stole a vehicle, taking four members of a family hostage and leaving one behind.
‘At approximately 11pm on 19 November 2017, the accused and his accomplices broke in and woke the occupants. ‘They had firearms and demanded cash from the homeowner who told them she had no money. ‘They then demanded the keys to her Toyota Hilux.
‘The suspects used cable ties to restrain the hands of all the victims before forcing the mother and her daughter into the back of the Toyota, while two other victims were taken in a separate vehicle.
‘The suspects, including the accused, did not wear any form of gear to hide their faces and drove the victims in the direction of Mtimona, towards Nkwaleni.’
According to Mdlalose, the suspects are said to have been talking on their phones during the drive, possibly trying to arrange a buyer for the stolen vehicle or to inform accomplices where they were.
‘After a short while, they drove into a secluded area and instructed the hostages to get out.
‘At this moment the other vehicle arrived with the remaining victims.
‘Two of the suspects walked the hostages into nearby bush and instructed them to sit down and not move, before making off with the vehicle.
‘A short while later a police patrol came across the victims and took them to the Empangeni Police Station where a case had already been opened by the family member who had been left behind,’ said Mdlalose.
The following day, police in Manguzi arrested Masinga after he was found in possession of the stolen Toyota Hilux.
Sergeant Fikile Mfeka of the Empangeni Vehicle Theft Unit was given the case to investigate.
According to Mfeka, during the course of the trial, Masinga refused to provide any information on his accomplices, choosing to remain silent even upon being found guilty.
Mfeka said she was thankful to the Empangeni prosecution team who assisted her in the case.
‘I would like to thank the prosecution, in specific, Senzo Magwaza who assisted in ensuring that justice was served in this matter,’ she said.
Investigating officer, Sergeant Mfeka, tightly holding the docket which contained all the necessary information pertaining to Masinga’s arrest, charges and conviction Orrin Singh