Hijackers of pregnant cleaner jailed
Two men who abducted woman in car at Zwide clinic get 15 years each
Two Port Elizabeth men who hijacked and abducted a pregnant cleaner at a clinic in Zwide two years ago have been sentenced to 15 years behind bars.
This jail term is the result of an incident that took place at noon on October 17 2016, when the two suspects hijacked and abducted the 30-year-old woman from the KwaDwesi Clinic in Asrayi Street.
The woman, whose identity is being protected, worked as a cleaner at the clinic and was nine months’ pregnant at the time of the abduction.
On the day she was abducted she had travelled to work in her husband’s work VW Polo – a leased vehicle.
Mzwanele Gumenge, 29, and Thulani Magalela, 26, were both sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for hijacking as well as five years for abduction in the New Brighton Magistrate’s Court on Monday. The sentences will run concurrently.
Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said the hijacking and abduction only came to light only when the men were already in Welkom.
“The woman was entering the KwaDwesi Clinic when the two males approached her and pretended to make an inquiry about a doctor,” Beetge said.
“They produced a firearm and took her to the parking area and the VW Polo.
“She was forced into the back seat and the men drove off with her to Bloemfontein.“After she faked the impending delivery of her unborn child, the suspects dropped her off next to the N1 and she walked to a petrol station where the police were alerted to what happened.”
An alert was sent out and the Welkom Flying Squad spotted the vehicle on the N1, leading to a car chase and their arrest.
“After the incident, and due to the woman being pregnant, she was admitted to the Pelonomi private hospital in Bloemfontein.”
Beetge said the men were from Kwazakhele and Kwamagxaki in Port Elizabeth.
He said they first appeared in court on October 20 2016, when they were denied bail.
The duo remained in custody until their conviction on May 25 this year and their sentencing on Monday.
Motherwell Cluster commander MajorGeneral Dawie Rabie said the conviction was a result of great detective work and joint collaboration between Bay and Free State detectives.
“We cannot allow our community to be abducted this way. We will do everything in our mandate to investigate such crimes to ensure criminals are apprehended and given sentences fitting the crimes,” he said.