An eight-year-old girl who was abducted in Cape Town has been reunited with her family.
Western Cape police confirmed on Monday that Abirah Dekhta was found during a search operation on Monday evening, after being kidnapped in Rylands nearly two weeks ago.
The Rylands Primary School pupil was abducted in her lift club vehicle that was waiting for another pupil.
Abirah Dekhta rescue
Police spokesperson Sergeant Wesley Twigg said Dekhta was rescued from a shack in the city.
“Saps members from various specialised units and City of Cape Town law enforcement officials utilising state-of-the-art technology have located her in a shack in Town Two, Khayelitsha, on Monday evening,” Twigg said.
Twigg said police are continuing with their investigations into the kidnapping.
“Investigations into the crime of kidnapping continue, with police detectives currently questioning several individuals with a view to apprehending the perpetrators of the crime.”
Dekhta’s family are relived that she was found unharmed.
“The family is overjoyed by the news, and we are thankful for the support and well-wishes from everyone,” Dekhta family spokesperson Miya Ramzan told News24.
Gauteng businessman still missing
Meanwhile, police are continuing their search for well-known Gauteng businessman Ranga Gova, who has been missing for a week after being kidnapped while driving his wife’s Mercedes-Benz in Midstream, Centurion.
The 35-year-old Zimbabwean-born businessman was kidnapped after being stopped at traffic lights, minutes away from his residential estate.
Although police found the Mercedes-Benz two days later, Gova is still missing.
Rise in kidnappings for ransom
The country has seen a sharp rise in kidnappings for ransom.
While police are making inroads into kidnapping cases, anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee said criminals are becoming more daring.
“Criminals target business people because gangs see kidnappings as easy cash and try their luck.”
According to the police’s crime statistics of the first quarter of 2022/2023, the total number of kidnappings increased to 3 055 cases, compared to 2 232 cases reported in the previous year.
Kidnappings in Gauteng increased from 809 reported between April and June 2021, to 1 909 cases recorded during April and June this year.
Foiled child kidnapping
Last week, Gauteng police arrested a 55-year-old Indian national after an attempted kidnapping for ransom of a minor child in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg.
The man was handcuffed during a sting operation led by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of police, other authorities and private security.
Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said they then received information that an 11-year-old boy would be kidnapped and a hefty ransom would be demanded.
Additional reporting by Marizka Coetzer