Home South African Kidnapped UDM leader Nqabayomzi Kwankwa paid R25k ‘ransom’ for his freedom

Kidnapped UDM leader Nqabayomzi Kwankwa paid R25k ‘ransom’ for his freedom

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The United Democratic Movement (UDM) said it did not believe the kidnapping of deputy leader and member of the National Assembly Nqabayomzi Kwankwa was politically motivated.

It’s believed Nqabayomzi Kwankwa had stopped at a barbershop in Driftsands when he was taken hostafe by four unknown suspects. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi, African News Agency(ANA)

CAPE TOWN – The United Democratic Movement (UDM) said it did not believe the kidnapping of deputy leader and member of the National Assembly Nqabayomzi Kwankwa was politically motivated.

The 44-year-old was due to travel to Pretoria from Cape Town International Airport on Tuesday when he was hijacked, kidnapped and released after paying a ransom.

It’s believed Kwankwa had stopped at a barbershop in Driftsands when he was taken hostage by four unknown suspects.

His Jaguar was parked along Old Faure Road. A suspect tied his hands before putting him in the boot.

A source told the DFA’s sister publication the Cape Argus that at the time of the incident, Kwankwa was about to have his hair cut.

“It is unknown whether the suspects were there for the protection fee that the barber should have paid or not. The police will have to investigate that. But when the suspects spotted him, they asked him to open the banking app on his phone and increase the limit. They then drove with him in his red Jaguar and withdrew money from him before forcing him to ask for more money from his ‘people’.

“They took R15,000 from him before asking the leader of the party for R10,000.”

UDM president Bantu Holomisa confirmed that he paid the money.

“He was driving his car to the airport; he was going to fly to Pretoria for the inauguration. I left at around 11 and arrived at 1pm and as I landed I saw missed calls and messages from our secretary-general informing me that (Kwankwa) had been kidnapped.

“I called his phone and the kidnappers answered. I spoke to him too and he told me that the suspects were demanding R10,000. They told me to hurry up otherwise I was going to find him at the mortuary.

“We then paid the money. Apparently they went to take money out of his account first. When they took him, they shoved him in the boot and drove around with him to take out money and thereafter they drove him to a bush where he saw an abandoned railway line. They took him out of the boot and pointed a gun at him, and that is when they said the money was not enough and they wanted more.”

The source said the car was found at Nyaniso Street near the popular hangout spot Rands, and Kwankwa was dropped off in Hostel Street where he found his way to the Lingelethu West police station off Spine Road.

When the Cape Argus met up with Kwankwa at the station, he was visibly shaken. All he could say was: “Life is too short and it can end in the blink of an eye. These boys got me. I am now going to identify my car.”

The police then whisked him away as more journalists arrived at the precinct. Kwankwa didn’t return.

The suspects robbed him of his cellphone, an iPhone 15 Pro Max, his wallet and other belongings.

Holomisa said: “I don’t think this is related to politics, Kwankwa is not a threat to anyone. I think this might just be a criminal element.

“We are relieved that UDM deputy president Nqabayomzi Kwankwa is safe after being kidnapped and robbed. We wish him well in recovering from this ordeal. The UDM is saddened by this horrific event, but is very grateful for his safe return. We wish Tshawe well on his road to recovery from this dastardly incident.”

Police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said: “A Western Cape anti-kidnapping multi-disciplinary task team comprising organised crime and DPCI investigators, as well as crime intelligence, is currently piecing together details following an incident in which a 44-year-old man was allegedly hijacked, kidnapped and robbed by armed suspects in Driftsands, Mfuleni yesterday.

“Allegedly, after the ordeal, the victim was dropped off in Lingelethu West, Khayelitsha, where he made his way to a police station in the area to report the crime.

“His vehicle has since been recovered in the Khayelitsha area. The investigation continues and no arrests have been made as yet.”

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