Kidnappers threaten to kill teen
19 November 2013 | Tereasa Ferrari
NELSPRUIT - The kidnappings which have plagued Mozambique seem to have spilled over to Mpumalanga's capital. A family who have businesses in the neighbouring country said their son and his friend had been abducted on Friday. The teens, aged 18 and 19, were kidnapped in a West Acres park at about 18:30.
One of the youths was released near Nelsville in Enos Mabuza Drive at about 19:30. He walked to Ehmke Street to a friend's house and they alerted Hi-Tech Security Nelspruit.
Hi-Tech's operations manager Mr Nico Grobler said they received the call about 21:00. His officials and those of Bossies Community Justice, J&M Security and the police, immediately responded. The teen's friends took him to Belladonna filling station where they were met by the security.
He then spoke to the youth and his friend's family and explained they had to open a case with the police as they had the capacity to trace the cellphones the abductors had taken. The family then opened a case of kidnapping.
According to Grobler, the youth said they had gone to the park that night when two men came out of the bush. The attackers had hats on and covered their faces with bandanas. He said they tried to fight them, but stopped when one pulled out a knife and threatened to kill his friend.
Grobler said one of their attackers told them to take a bag from him and open it. "They opened the bag and took out two smaller canvas ones and put them over their heads. The men then tied their feet and hands with what seemed like rope," he said.
The teens were then put into the back of a vehicle. They once they had established that the friend was not related to the other youth, the abductors dropped him off on the side of the road. They drove away with the teen whose family they had targeted.
Grobler said the youth said they told him to lie down on the ground and not get up until they had left or they would shoot his friend.
The targeted mother speaks about her son's traumatic ordeal
The family's identities have been withheld for safety reasons as the suspects have not yet been apprehended. The mother says her husband is a dual Mozambican and South African citizen, and she and the children are South African.
"My husband has businesses in Mozambique and I think this is why they targeted us. We were having dinner in Johannesburg and my husband had only his Mozambique cellphone on him. He had left the one he uses in South Africa at the hotel." She said when they got back around 21:00, they found that the kidnappers had left various voicemails. "They then phoned again and demanded US$1 million but changed it to rand in the same sentence. We immediately drove back to Nelspruit.
"While we were in the car the abductors called again. They told me my son was going to end up like Abdul and was going to look like him." Abdul Rashid (13), to whom they were referring, was the recent victim of a kidnapping which went horrifically wrong in Mozambique.
His abductors tortured the boy and dumped his mutilated body in a nearby town when the family said they could not afford to pay the ransom last month. The kidnappers allowed her to speak to her son to verify that he was still alive."My son said they took them on what must have been a gravel road as it was very bumpy. They asked them if they could speak Portuguese." Her son admitted he could speak a little.
The mother said this was when they realised her son's friend was not her other son, whom they mentioned by name. "They then took him away and my son says he was terrified that they had tortured and killed his friend." The abductors took him to an empty-sounding house which could have been in a complex as he could hear there was an echo.
"The kidnappers put him on a mattress and kicked and hit him in the face many times. His whole body was covered in bruises."
According to the mother, her son said they then moved him to another location where they forced him into a cupboard and stuffed a sock in his mouth. She said he could assess that there must have been four of five of them now from their voices as the bag was still over his head. He told her the abductors said, "If your parents call the police you are going to die."
His mother continued, "The kidnappers then grabbed him out the cupboard and told him we had phoned the police and he thought, 'that's it, they are going to kill me now'". The men pushed him into the car and drove to near the Edge Country Estate at
The Rest and dropped him on the side of the road. "He got up and was stumbling about and they stopped their vehicle again and pushed him into the bush and then drove away again." She said he had no idea where he was and managed to tear off the bag and untie his bound legs and run to try and get help.
A security guard at the Edge helped him and phoned the police and security companies, who arrived shortly.
The mother said the family were now dealing with the trauma and trying to cope with the situation.
The police and security investigation
Recently media had reported that the Muslim community in Mozambique had established that many of the kidnapping cases had their ransoms paid into South African bank accounts.
International relations and cooperation's spokesaman Mr Clayson Monyela had said their department would intervene only if it had been South Africans involved.
Lowvelder asked Monyela now that SA citizens had been affected by a kidnapping, what action would his department take? He responded that abductions were criminal acts and that Lowvelder should refer queries to the police.
Mpumalanga police spokesman Col Leonard Hlathi said the investigation at this stage would stay a provincial one as the incident had occurred in the area. "We are more than capable of handling the investigation." He said if it subsequently led to another country, they would contact Interpol.
"There is no reason to panic as this is an isolated incident. The police with the help of the community will bring these suspects to book." He said they could not divulge anything more about their operations.
Grobler said that they had counter-intelligence information streaming in from different sources about foreign syndicates operating in and around the area.http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/co ... -kill-teen