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2023/03/13      |  Written By:  Brigadier M Mojapelo   |   Province:  Limpopo

POLOKWANE: 12 March 2023 - A 20-year-old learner was yesterday, Saturday 11 March 2023 arrested together with his friend aged 24 for allegedly faking a kidnapping and demanding R7000.00 ransom from his family. On Friday 10 March 2023 at about 07:00, the 20-year-old learner left his home at Lusaka in Dennilton to school which is about 3 kilometres from his home. His mother became worried when he didn't return home as usual and informed her husband when he returned from work. The husband was also suprised because he said he received several messages from his son's number indicating that he must call him but when he called back, he didn't answer.

The couple then enquired about their son's whereabouts from his  classmates who confirmed that he didn't attend classes on Friday and they never saw him. Later in the evening at about 20:15, an unknown person called the family using the supposed victim's number and demanded R7000.00, threatening to kill the victim if they failed to comply.

The matter was immediately reported to the police and a case of kidnapping was opened. Immediate action was taken by deploying a special team that included the SAPS hostage negotiators, for thorough investigation and possible arrest of the culprits. Investigation revealed that the victim was in Tafelkop under Motetema policing area.

The team made observations at various homesteads in Tafelkop and the supposed suspect arrived at the scene and he led the team to where the victim was.

The victim was taken along with his 24-year-old accomplice for questioning. The duo was arrested after they confessed to have conspired and faked the kidnapping in order to get the money from the family.

The Provincial Commissioner of police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe had strongly condemned the incident.

"We are at times receiving reports of kidnapping and are obliged to act immediately by mobilizing resources as the safety of victims could be at stake. False reports put a lot of strain on police resources which could have been directed to deal with real incidents of crime and to victims who desperately needed police assistance,"  said Lieutenant General Hadebe.

The two suspects will appear before the Mdutjana Magistrate's Court in Siyabuswa on Monday 13 March 2023 facing a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud and uttery.