South Africa, Durban – In the kidnapping of Durban businesswoman Sandra Munsamy when the matter goes before the Durban High Court in March. Four men accused of being involved in the kidnapping, appeared in the Durban Regional Court yesterday where they received the high court indictment.
The four accused, aged between 36 and 39 and who cannot be named according to an order by the court, face kidnapping and attempted extortion charges.
Three accuse also face robbery with aggravating circumstances charges.
In addition, two accused who are Mozambicans, face contravention of the Immigration Act charges.
They were allegedly living and working illegally in South Africa at the time of their arrest.
The men will spend another Christmas and New Year’s Day behind bars.
The court heard that Munsamy, 46, the financial manager of Crossmoor Transport and XMoor Transport, left her office in Pinetown at 5 pm on May 30 last year.
While she was driving her Range Rover along Stapleton Road/ M13 Highway in Pinetown, a white BMW blocked her path, forcing her to stop. It is alleged three suspects got out of the BMW, carrying firearms.
They had forced Munsamy out of her vehicle and into theirs at gunpoint. Sometime later they switched vehicles to a Mercedes-Benz and put Munsamy in the boot of the car and took her to one of the accused’s homes in Gauteng.
According to the indictment, they moved her to Witbank where she was rescued by the police on November 7.
Munsamy was found in a room with a chain around her ankle with the other end fixed to a wall. From Munsamy, they are accused of taking jewellery to the value of R57 000, two iPhones, and a handbag with the contents valued at R45 000.
The court heard two of the accused kept watch over her. They were arrested in the house with her.
The other two accused were arrested in Gauteng.
They allegedly secured the lease for the premises in Witbank which they then modified to keep a person without detection. They boarded up the windows.
At different times between June 10, 2019, to November 7 they instilled fear into the mind of Inderan Naicker by threatening to keep his sister hostage indefinitely and or threatening to cause Munsamy physical harm, the court heard.
They had apparently demanded a ransom payment of $10 million for Munsamy’s safe release.
Prosecutor Kuveshni Pillay said: “Prior to May 2019, the men identified Crossmoor Transport as a wealthy business from which they could extort money.
They conspired to kidnap a prominent family member associated with the business, hold that person hostage, and demand ransom from the family. They gathered intelligence and kept surveillance on the business and family.
The court heard the State has 34 people on its witness list.
The Munsamy family declined to comment.