Thursday, 25 November
The police’s investigation into the kidnapping of the Moti brothers continues, even though they have been returned, deputy police minister Cassel Mathale told the National Assembly on Wednesday.
The boys were kidnapped in Polokwane last month.
Zia, 15, Zayyad, 11, Alaan, 13, and Zidan, 7, were on their way to the Curro Heuwelkruin private school along the R37 near the N1 bypass when seven armed men blocked the vehicle the boys were travelling in and fired shots. The men were in two cars – a black Mercedes-Benz and a white Kia Sorento.
News24 reported exclusively last week that they were returned after the family paid a ransom of R50 million. The family denied that a ransom was paid and thanked the police.
READ | Inside the Moti family’s R50m ransom
During Wednesday’s question session with the security cluster in the National Assembly, EFF MP Henry Shembeni said the crime statistics for the current financial year’s second quarter released last week “demonstrate crime is truly out of hand”.
Shembeni said the Moti children were returned without the police’s involvement. He asked whether the police were still investigating.
“Or have you given up because they have returned home?” Shembeni asked.
Mathale said the police had not given up and had not failed in the fight against crime. He said the investigation into the Moti kidnappings was ongoing.
“We will not stop because they’re home,” he said.
Mathale also dodged ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe’s question about whether the 12 instigators of July’s unrest had been arrested.
In July, Police Minister Bheki Cele said they had a list of 12 instigators of the unrest and looting that swept through KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. The identity of the 12 had never been revealed.
Mathale read a list of suspects who were arrested in relation to the unrest, after which Meshoe asked whether this included the 12 instigators Cele referred to.
He also asked if any political leaders had been arrested.
READ | Cash-in-transit gunmen look to kidnappings for high-value, low-risk payday – experts
Mathale didn’t address the matter of the 12 instigators, but said that investigations were ongoing and that “the possibility of additional arrests are not ruled out”.
After Mathale spoke about the police’s plan to combat gender-based violence, DA MP Ockert Terblanche pointed to the recent crime statistics, showing that rapes had increased by 7.1% year on year in the second quarter.
“South Africans don’t trust you and your department’s programmes anymore. Why should they trust you now?” Terblanche asked.
Mathale responded: “It is incorrect to say South Africans don’t trust the police. It is the opposite.”
He said police were working with communities to address gender-based violence.
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