Home South African Kidnapped Free State boy, 3, found unharmed, three men arrested

Kidnapped Free State boy, 3, found unharmed, three men arrested

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The Free State police arrested three men in connection with the kidnapping of a three-year-old boy.

THREE men were arrested in connection with the kidnapping of a three year-old boy in Bainsvlei, Free State, the police said on Wednesday.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said the police team – consisting of Bainsvlei Visible Policing, Detectives, Flying Squad and the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit – worked round-the-clock looking for the three-year-old boy who was kidnapped on Monday.

“The team effort paid dividends when they pounced on the first suspect in Khayelitsha outside Bloemfontein,“ said Makhele.

“The arrest of the 32-year-old male was followed by another 24-year-old who was arrested while walking in the street in Khayelitsha on the evening of Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at around 8.30pm.

“Information led the search team to a house in Phomolong informal settlement where the 35-year-old male, who is also the owner of the Datsun 1400 that was used during the kidnapping, was arrested.”

Makhele said the team then went to a house in the same area and they found the child, who was unharmed.

“The fourth suspect ran away before the police reached the house. The child was taken to National Hospital for examination and released to the parents as he was healthy and unharmed,“ he said.

The three-year-old boy was kidnapped, allegedly by five armed men, in Bainsvlei in the Mangaung area on Monday evening.

The 23-year-old mother told the police that a group of men, armed with firearms, arrived at a smallholding in Abrahamskraal in Bainsvlei looking for her boyfriend.

She agreed to take them to Baylana near the R64 Road [Boshof Road] where she last saw the boyfriend.

She took her three-year-old boy with her and she sat with the child in the front seat as four other suspects sat at the back of the bakkie.

The group arrived at their destination, which was the diesel depot on the R64 Road, Bainsvlei. The woman and the men got out of the vehicle, leaving the child behind in the bakkie.

When they approached the depot the men noticed the presence of security guards manning their post. They started shooting in the air while making their way back to the vehicle.

They jumped into the bakkie and fled with the three-year-old boy. A docket of kidnapping was opened at Bainsvlei police station.

The three suspects are expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

The Datsun 1400 bakkie was confiscated and would be processed as part of the investigation, Makhele said.

Free State provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Baile Motswenyane said the hard work of the investigating team would not go unnoticed.

“We are grateful that we could safely reunite Onalerona with his parents,” she said.

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