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2022/11/01      |  Written By:  Colonel D Mdhluli   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 31 October 2022 -  The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga would like to applaud all stakeholders for their contribution which secured for the safe return of the Nkangala District Municipality Manager and her driver. The two were reportedly found abandoned in the bushes but fortunately alive in Diepsloot, Gauteng in the late hours of Wednesday, 26 October 2022.

It is said that after being left by their assailants near N14 Road in Diepsloot. The Municipality Manager's driver who was tied with some ropes somehow managed to manoeuvre to the road whereby a taxi driver saw her as she was looking for help. She then related the story to the taxi driver. Members of the police deployed under Operation Khuculula in Diepsloot were patrolling along R114 and they were then alerted by the taxi driver about the predicament of the victims upon which the members went to investigate. The members reportedly took the victims to SAPS Diepsloot where they were kept in the Victim Empowerment Office whilst waiting for our detectives to arrive and take the process forward.

Thereafter the two victims were taken to hospital and then later reunited with their families in the early hours of Thursday 27 October 2022. The suspects are still at large.

The victims were kidnapped on Thursday, 20 October 2022 in Middleburg at the Municipality premises gate before they could enter. Reports further indicates that the victims were stopped by suspects in a white sedan. Both vehicles, that of the victims and the suspects were seen driving to the same direction following each other.

Soon after the incident was reported, the Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela immediately assembled resources then simultaneously established a team consisting of experts in the field of investigation to ensure that the two victims are brought back safe and alive. The victim's vehicle was recovered on the same day (20 October 2022) abandoned in one of the surrounding mines in Middelburg. The wheelchair as well as other properties of the victims were also recovered together with the abandoned vehicle however there was no sign of the victims. Be as it may, the team worked around the clock, spending sleepless nights since the news of the kidnapping broke. The collaboration between these members assisted in the probe and they are still continuing, they have not yet disengage.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has acknowledged with much appreciation the efforts by members of the police deployed under Operation Khuculula in Diepsloot, as well as a multi task team comprising of members of the police from Mpumalanga. The General specifically applauded the taxi driver who acted as a good Samaritan upon seeing the Municipal Manager's driver calling for help on the road. Everyone who contributed including the support received from the entire Police Management and the Office of the Premier in Mpumalanga were all appreciated by the Provincial Commissioner.