NELSPRUIT – A truck driver (42) who became a victim of kidnapping has been rescued today, 16 December 2022 in Komatipoort. Two suspects aged 25 and 28 were nabbed. The truck driver from the country of Zimbabwe was kidnapped on Thursday 15 December 2022 around 03:00 near Libombo Boarder in Komatipoort.
According to the report, the victim was kidnapped by armed suspects under the railway bridge in Komatipoort as he returned to the truck he was driving after buying some food. It is said that he was taken by his assailants at gunpoint into the bushes. It is further indicated that the suspects demanded a ransom of R50 000-00 to be deposited by his employer.
Various stakeholders including the National Intervention Unit (NIU), South African National Defence Force (SANDF), the Airwing, Crime Intelligence, Hostage Negotiators, K9 Unit, Detectives as well as the victim’s employer mobilised resources in order to ensure that the victim is brought back alive.
These members work tirelessly and due to the rainy weather condition yesterday, 15 December 2022 the search had to be called off. The suspects contacted a colleague as well as the victim’s employer and further made some demand. Through collaboration that was made by the stakeholders, the victim was traced and found as well as the two suspects cornered and apprehended. During their arrest an air-gun was found as well as four mobile phones in their possession. Further than that, a large sum of undisclosed amount of cash was found in their possession. The members also found two knives in the possession of the two suspects.
The two were charged for kidnapping as well as possession of suspected stolen properties and they’re expected to appear at them Komatipoort Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 19 December 2022 facing the said charges. Police cannot rule out the possibility that the two could have been involved in the previous kidnapping incident whereby a truck driver went through a similar ordeal in the past week. More suspects could be arrested as the investigation continues.
The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has praised the members’ hard work which paid off and appreciated that the victim was found alive. The General further warned perpetrators of similar at the border targeting truck drivers that it is just a matter of time before each one of them is brought to book. “We will continue to hunt for these suspects until we find each one of them wherever they are hiding.”
Source: South African Police Service