Three men arrested by the Hawks for staging a kidnapping in Woodstock were from Soweto

The suspects are being held at Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency(ANA)

The suspects are being held at Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jun 19, 2024


Cape Town - It has emerged in court that three men arrested for a kidnapping in Woodstock are from Gauteng.

The trio – Mlungisi Vincent Mbutu of White City, Bongani Zulu of Rockville, and Zwelakhe Ngwenya of Chiawelo – appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court yesterday, charged with kidnapping and extortion.

This follows the abduction of a 50-year-old man last Friday, who was held hostage for several hours.

Ngwenya, who had a broken leg in a cast, appeared alongside his coaccused, Mbutu, who also sustained injuries.

During Ngwenya’s arrest on Friday, it is said he was injured while fleeing from the police.

He requested to be moved to the Pollsmoor Correctional Centre instead of being sent back to Woodstock police station.

He cited his injuries and inability to care for himself as reasons for the request, expressing a belief that he would receive better assistance at Pollsmoor Prison.

“I’m injured and unable to wash, I would rather go to Pollsmoor because I will be alone with no one to assist me.

“I think I will be better in Pollsmoor because people will assist me,” Ngwenya said.

Mbutu and Zulu were taken to Pollsmoor.

The court, however, informed Ngwenya that he would need to return to Woodstock police station, where he would be taken to the doctor for medical attention and provided with medication for his pain.

The case was postponed to June 25 for their attorneys to be present in court.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said: “The case against Mbutu, 37, Zulu, 36 and Ngwenya, 25, has been postponed until June 25 for bail information. The State may add more charges against the accused as the investigation is continuing.”

As part of their efforts to combat crime, a joint team comprising serious organised crime departments, the flying squad, and anti-crime agencies apprehended the three alleged kidnappers on Friday around 7pm after analysis linked information to suspicious banking activities and transfer patterns by the suspects.

Using intelligence, the team tracked the hostage’s active phone to the Woodstock area.

They raided a premises, where they found the hostage tied-up in the main bedroom and rescued him successfully.

The hostage was then taken to the hospital for examination.