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2023/06/30      |  Written By:  Lieutenant Colonel A Funani   |   Province:  North West

POTCHEFSTROOM: 30 June 2023 – Mahikeng and Lehurutshe Police apprehended three suspects aged between 24 and 30 on Thursday, 29 June 2023, for kidnapping and contravening  Custom Initiation Act, 2021 Act No. 2 of 2021).

According to information received, the suspects were arrested after parents reported missing children at Mahikeng and
Lehurutshe Police Stations. Investigations led the police to an illegal initiation school near or between Ramatlabama and Tsetse villages outside Mahikeng. Preliminary investigations suggests that the three suspects mobilised unsuspecting young boys from villages around Mahikeng and Lehurutshe to join the initiation school. Moreover and after recruiting these young boys, they would call the parents and demand money for the safety of the victims. Consequently, about 40 initiates between the ages of 15 and 20 were rescued. The illegal schools were closed while the boys were taken to a local hospital where they were treated.    
The 24-year-old Bongani Moatlhodi who was arrested at Lonely Park by Lehurutshe Police appeared at Lehurutshe Magistrates’ Court today in connection with kidnapping of a 16-year-old boy.   The other two suspects, aged 26 and 30, are expected to appear in the Molopo Magistrates’ Court in Mmabatho on Monday, 3 July 2023, for first court appearance.
The Provincial Commissioner of North West, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena applauded police for acting swiftly to rescue the boys and arrest the suspects.