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2022/08/17      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mohlala   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 16 August 2022 - Police in Mpumalanga obtained another success when they arrested one suspect in Witbank and rescued a 31-year-old victim unharmed today, Tuesday 16 August 2022.

A 22-year-old suspect, from the Kingdom of Eswatini, was arrested when the dedicated SAPS team members from different disciplines acted swiftly on the call to assist the helpless victim from Tweefontein. Information was cascaded to police by the victim's uncle after receiving a call from the victim (his niece).

The suspects immediately took the phone from the victim and instructed the victim's uncle to pay the sum of R15000 in exchange of her release. Police negotiation team was involved and used their skills with a sole purpose of rescuing the female victim from the ordeal. In the meantime, police put strategies in place to locate the suspects.

Investigation team consisted of members from Kwamhlanga, Tweefontein, Witbank SAPS as well as Middleburg Flying squad. In the early hours of today (Tuesday, 16 August 2022), the suspects' vehicle was tracked down at Clarinet (in Witbank), believed to be heading to the ATM.

When the suspects noticed the police, two suspects one believed to be a Swazi national residing in South Africa and one alleged to be a South African national both alighted from the vehicle and fled the scene on foot. The third suspect was arrested and the victim rescued.

Upon further investigation, precious stones alleged to be diamond were found in their Grey VW Golf 4. This motor vehicle which was also fitted with Mpumalanga registration plates that does not match the information on the Eswatini licence disc displayed.

The vehicle and the precious stones were confiscated for further investigation. The suspect is expected to appear in the Witbank Magistrate's Court soon facing charges of kidnapping and extortion however more charges could be added as the investigation continues.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela was delighted with the arrest of the suspect."Be as it may, the team is still pursuing the remaining suspects and we want each one of them to be brought to book. We had such incidents in the past where females were kidnapped for a ransom. We hope to make a breakthrough with regard to linking the suspect to other crimes committed elsewhere" said the General.