• Accused in kidnapping secure top attorneys

    THE four men charged with kidnapping Durban businesswoman Sandra Munsamy have secured top attorneys, including former National Director of Public Prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana, to represent them.

    The men, who abandoned their bid for bail, made a brief appearance in the Durban Regional court yesterday. They will be kept at the Westville Prison until their next court appearance. The accused face charges of kidnapping, attempted murder, extortion and illegally being in the country.

    Nxasana, who is now in private practice, is representing the two men, who claim to be South African nationals, while each of the two Mozambican accused have top Gauteng criminal law firm BDK Attorneys and local firm Lister and Co representing them, respectively. Yesterday Nxasana assured the court that the issue around his clients’ nationalities would be finalised by the end of this week.

    In their first court appearance last week, Magistrate Anand Maharaj made a ruling that their identities and personal details would remain out of the public eye until the ID parade and confirmation of their nationalities was completed.

    For the first time since their arrest earlier this month, the media was allowed to sit in during their court appearance.

    At this stage the Hawks have confirmed that two of the men are from Mozambique and they opted to converse in Portuguese during the court case. The other two men claim to be South African. However, State prosecutor Kuveshni Pillay said they were waiting to confirm this with the Department of Home Affairs.

    Although the men insisted they handed over their passports and smart IDs to the investigating team, Pillay disputed that the State was in possession of their IDs.

    Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said by their next court appearance – on January 20, 2020 – the verification processes regarding their nationalities would be completed.

    He said they were also hopeful that the team’s dealings with Interpol would also be concluded by their next court appearance, as it was alleged the men were linked to a number of criminal incidents internationally.

    Munsamy, a mother of two and financial manager at Crossmoor Transport Plant, was kidnapped at the corner of Stapleton Road and the M13 on May 30.

    She was rescued from a luxury house, unharmed, 162 days after her kidnapping.

    Sources who made the rescue told The Mercury that Munsamy was found chained in one of the bedrooms in a four-bedroom house the kidnappers rented in eMalahleni (Witbank) in Mpumalanga.

    She was held for a ransom of R140 million.

     

    Source: The Mercury
    Written By: KAILENE PILLAY kailene.pillay@inl.co.za

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