By Jessica Mundawarara|
South African police on Tuesday night rescued a 24 year-old Zimbabwean woman and her eight month-old baby girl after they were abducted by a notorious human trafficking gang known as Malayitsha.
South African Police Service spokesman, warrant officer Daniel Mavimbela told Now Daily that a special unit rescued the victims from a backyard shack in Diepsloot Extension 6, where they were kept hostage from Thursday, January 1. Four men aged between 28 and 34 were arrested for the kidnapping.
“The woman and her baby travelled with the suspects from Zimbabwe,” Mavimbela said. “The agreed fare was three hundred rand. Before she could reach her intended destination, Brits, where she was going to visit her husband, the fare was inflated to R1 500. She was taken to Diepsloot because she could not afford that fare. The kidnappers apparently called the woman’s husband and threatened that unless he paid the ransom, he would never see his wife and daughter. He could not afford it. He alerted the police on Tuesday afternoon.”
Mavimbela said the Diepsloot police tracing unit made a “tactical intervention” and apprehended the suspects in Extension 1. The police then rescued the baby and mother in Extension 6.
“The two were taken for a medical examination by paramedics. The child was described as dehydrated and put on oxygen momentarily. The mother was fed with only cold drink since the kidnapping. The police officers, out of their own pockets, ensured that the baby and mother were nourished properly as recommended by the medics before transporting the family to their home in Brits,” Mavimbela said.
The suspects will appear in the Randburg magistrates court charged with kidnapping, the spokesman said.
According to the International Organisation on Migration, such kidnappings have become common as Zimbabweans try to cross illegally into South Africa to escape dictator Robert Mugabe’s repressive regime and endemic poverty fuelled by government corruption.
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