Nkangala Municipal Manager, Maggie Skhosana recounts her traumatic ordeal on what transpired during the six days she and her driver Gugu Mtsweni were kidnapped.
The two women were stopped by men in police uniform, driving a Ford Fiesta with blue lights in front of the gates at the municipality premises in Mpumalanga.
Kidnapped under guise of arrest
The incident occurred in full view of security guards.
Skhosana told the SABC News that when the unknown men accosted them at the gate, they told her that she was under arrest but said they will not cuff her in front of her place of employment, and insisted they drive with them to her house as other police officers were already there.
“But they did not go to my house, instead they drove with us, using the other street, so that is when I realised that we [were] actually going to be hijacked or kidnapped,” said Skhosana.
She said they did not get to see the faces of the kidnappers as they were wearing SAPS face masks.
When the kidnappers exchanged cars and put them in their car, they also made them wear facemasks and told them to lie down, so they could not see where they were being taken.
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The women were kept in a room inside a house
The two women were kept in a room inside a house and given mattresses.
They were given three meals a day, and the wheelchair-bound municipal manager was being assisted by the suspects to go to the bathroom.
“We kept faith because we were told that they will not kill us and all that, but of course, to be in one room, where you do not know where you are and you do not know the people that are taking care of you,” added Skhosana.
The kidnappers had ditched her wheelchair and car – which had her belongings, including medication – en route to the small town of Kriel.
These were later found by police on the same day they were kidnapped. The kidnappers went to buy the medication she needed so she could take them while in captivity.
R5 million ransom demand
During the search for the pair, the family and police did not receive any communication from the kidnappers, until the fourth day, when there was a R5 million ransom demand.
It is unclear if the ransom was paid, the municipal manager did not want to divulge information and said that her husband is the one who is dealing with the issue.
“They wanted my husband’s number so I think they were talking to him, the ones who were looking after us did not ask any questions, I think they were hired to take care of us,” reiterated Skhosana.
Skhosana and her driver were dumped by assailants in bushes near the N14 in Diepsloot.
She was said to be in the process of awarding a tender with high financial gains when she was kidnapped.
The exact motive for the kidnapping is still unknown, suspects are still at large and investigations are continuing.
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