According to Limpopo National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mashudu Malabi- Dzhangi, Themba Dube came to South Africa without a passport or permit in 2008.

School pupil ‘faked kidnapping to get R7k ransom out of his parents’

A HIGH school pupil who, with a friend, allegedly faked his own kidnapping in a bid to make his parents cough up a R7 000 ransom got himself arrested instead and will appear in court on Monday.

The pupil, aged 20 from Limpopo, left for school about 3km from home on Friday morning but failed to return as expected.

“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 surprised 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,” said police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo. Classmates confirmed he did not attend school on the day.

Later that evening an unknown person phoned the family using the “victim’s” number and demanded R7 000, 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,” said Mojapelo.

“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 to get the money from the family.” The arrests were carried out on Saturday. Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Thembi Hadebe condemned the incident: “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.”

The pair will appear in the Mdutjana magistrate’s court in Siyabuswa on Monday facing a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud and uttering. — TimesLIVE

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