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A policeman appeared in a KwaZulu-Natal court on charges of kidnapping her two-year-old niece and demanding a ransom, The Witness website reported yesterday.
Nontuthuko Xulu, 24, appeared in the Pietermaritzburg magistrates' court on Monday and was remanded in custody until a senior public prosecutor makes a decision on the docket.
No charges were put to her and investigations are continuing.
The Witness reported that two-year-old Alwande Xulu disappeared from the garden of her home at Imbali in Pietermaritzburg last Wednesday and was found on Friday outside a Dambuza school where she had been dropped off.
Police said her aunt claimed to have received an anonymous call to fetch the child from the school.
She told police she paid the kidnappers the R20000 ransom demanded.
"She was the last person seen with the child on Wednesday and when she became the first one to appear with the child again, police investigated and charged her with kidnapping," Superintendent Joshua Gwala said.
Alwande's mother, Thandeka Xulu, said that the time her daughter was missing felt like "hell" and that she was shocked by her sister's arrest.
Xulu said she first heard about the ransom on Thursday when a note was found in the neighbourhood.
Her family advised her to take a R20000 loan from the bank. She applied for a loan and it was approved. - Sapa