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20 March 2020

Brits – A 45-year old police warrant officer, Simon Ndambi and his accomplice, Dipuo Mokwena, were each granted R500 bail by the Brits Magistrates’ Court when they appeared on kidnapping, extortion, attempted murder, common robbery and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm charges. 
The two, who made their initial appearance on Tuesday 17 March, are expected back in the dock on 21 April.  


Police spokesperson colonel Adéle Myburgh said the two are suspected of the kidnapping of a 27-year old victim on 15 March. 


The mother of the victim, who laid the charge, said the suspects pretended(she thought at the time) to be police officers and proceeded to kidnap the victim. 


Later, the suspects demanded ransom for the release of the victim and the complainant agreed to meet them at an identified spot in the Safari Park area of Brits. 


The suspects were not aware that police officers who have been alerted to the kidnapping and ransom demands accompanied the complainant to pick up the money. 


One of the accused waited in his Volkswagen Polo for the victim to deliver the money. 
Subsequently, Ndambi ran away and hid inside a security guard room after he had been confronted by police. 


The accused fired a shot towards the police officers who returned fire. It was at that point that the accused was arrested and his vehicle, as well as a firearm, were seized. No one was injured during the shooting incident.


The police then proceeded to a farm where the complainant’s son and another victim aged 26, were found handcuffed with cable ties. They were taken to a local hospital for treatment due to injuries they sustained when being assaulted by their kidnappers.


Further investigation resulted in the arrest of the second accused, Mokwena at Rooikoppies near Brits. A Toyota Hilux bakkie belonging to one of the victims was also recovered. 


It was further established that the second victim’ sister was also contacted by the accused to extort money from her. 


She was instructed to deposit the money into one of the victim’s account. 


The provincial police commissioner for North West, lieutenant general Sello Kwena applauded the police in Brits for their speedy reaction, which saved the lives of the kidnapped victims and led to the arrest of the accused. 


He said police will continue to fight crime and will not be lenient to police officers caught on the wrong side of the law.

 

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