Police lauded for rescuing kidnapped Wits student 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

The Provincial Commissioner of the Police in Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, has commended the swift response by a multi-disciplinary team that rescued a University of the Witwatersrand student, who was kidnapped on 19 September 2023 in Johannesburg. 

In a statement on Thursday, the South African Police Service (SAPS) said the team arrested seven suspects and recovered three knives and the student’s personal items.

“The student was reported missing the same day by his roommate. It is reported that he was lured to the suspects through a dating site called Grindr. The suspects demanded R30 000 from his family for his safe return,” the SAPS said. 

On 20 September 2023, the team comprising members from the Gauteng Crime Intelligence, Organised Crime Investigations, Hillbrow Detectives, Johannesburg Trio Detectives, Johannesburg Metro Police K9, security companies including Vision Tactical, JT VIP, CAP Security, Fidelity Strategic Team and Cellular Data Investigation, operationalised the information that led them to an ATM where one of the suspects was expected to withdraw the ransom money on the M2 Road. 

The police held an observation and then placed the suspect under arrest as soon as he arrived. He then led the team to Denver Men's Hostel, where the victim, aged 18, was found bound and unconscious.

“Six more suspects were arrested and the victim was rushed to hospital for medical attention.

“The team is currently investigating the possibility of linking these suspects to cases in Gauteng with the same modus operandi. All seven will be charged with kidnapping and extortion and they will be appearing before court soon.” the SAPS said. – SAnews.gov.za