COURT DENIES BAIL TO SEVEN MEN LINKED TO KIDNAPPING OF WITS STUDENT
Written by Neo Molefi on November 2, 2023
Written by: Tasha Siziba
Seven men accused of kidnapping a University of Witwatersrand student were denied bail by Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
Sanele Ndlovu (26), Vikani Khanyeza (28), Sohollo Khumalo (26), Sphamandla Mavundla (33), Lungisani Shabalala (33), Thulani Mazibuko (23) and Khayelihle Zulu (24), are facing charges of kidnapping, attempted murder, and extortion.
The accused are alleged to have lured the complainant on a date via a dating app called Grindr, a dating site for the LGBTQI+ community.
The accused held the complainant hostage, where a ransom of R30,000 was demanded from the complainant’s family.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwana says that on September 19, 2023, the complainant’s roommate reported that he was missing. Investigations were conducted and led the police to one of the ATMs the accused had used to withdraw money.
“The police pounced on one of the accused while he was withdrawing the ransom. The accused led the police to Denver men’s hostel where the complainant was kept. On arrival at the hostel, six more men were arrested.”
The complainant was found unconscious and was rushed to the hospital, where he is receiving treatment.
Acting Regional Court Prosecutor, Alfred Mukwevho argued that the accused’s family has been threatened and living in fear due to being known state witnesses.
He further added that the release of individuals on bail is not allowed due to the potential to undermine the proper administration of justice.
The matter has been postponed to November 15, 2023 for further investigations.