Home South African Farmer kidnapped while paying workers, rescued from assailants driving hijacked Merc

Farmer kidnapped while paying workers, rescued from assailants driving hijacked Merc

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Neighbouring farmers intervened after the farmer was abducted by several assailants travelling in a Mercedes-Benz and a Volkswagen Polo, and after an extensive chase he was rescued.

The Mercedes-Benz used in the kidnapping was fitted with false registration number plates and it was reportedly hijacked at Verena, Mpumalanga, earlier this year. Picture: SAPS

A 37-YEAR-old man, Ernest Nkosi, was arrested in Mpumalanga after a farmer was allegedly robbed of his vehicle and an undisclosed amount of money at a farm in Belfast.

Nkosi appeared before the Belfast Magistrate’s Court for possession of a hijacked vehicle. He also faces charges of armed robbery.

After the robbery, members of the SAPS in Belfast collaborated with farmers in the area, which led to Nkosi’s arrest.

“It is said that on Friday, June 28, 2024, a farmer was allegedly robbed of his vehicle as well as an undisclosed amount of cash at a certain farm in Belfast. It is further reported that during the incident, the victim was busy paying his employees when four suspects driving in two vehicles, a Mercedes-Benz sedan and a Volkswagen Polo, suddenly showed up and then allegedly attacked him,” said Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli.

“It is also alleged that Nkosi was amongst the suspects. The victim was held at gunpoint and forced into the rear side of a bakkie before they took off with him.”

Mdhluli said that another farmer suspected that there was something sinister going on due to the manner in which the bakkie was travelling.

The suspicious farmer then followed the bakkie while summoning assistance from other neighbouring farmers.

“The escape route was immediately blocked and that was when two suspects abandoned the bakkie and jumped into a Mercedes-Benz,” said Mdhluli.

“Meanwhile, the men and women in blue were alerted about the incident and they immediately proceeded to the scene. The Mercedes-Benz was spotted again at a certain farm nearby.

“It was during this period when the police, in conjunction with farmers, cornered the vehicle. However, the suspects realised that they had run out of plans and they then abandoned the vehicle and took to their heels to evade the arrest,” said Mdhluli.

Nkosi was soon found hiding in nearby bushes and he was arrested.

“Preliminary investigation has since revealed that the Mercedes-Benz was fitted with false registration number plates and it was reportedly hijacked at Verena (in Mpumalanga) in May,” said Mdhluli.

“Police are currently hard at work and doing their best to put the other suspects behind bars, and members of the public with information on their whereabouts can call the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111 or send information via the MySAPS app. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.”

Meanwhile, the acting provincial commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Major-General Zeph Mkhwanazi, has commended the partnership between the police and the farmers.

“We encourage communities in other areas to emulate from this incident that yielded positive results. The provincial management commends you for not taking the law into your hands, but involving the authorities in resolving the matter,” said Mkhwanazi.

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