Hostage negotiators had to be called to Jackey Maarohanye's school when her rowdy crowd refused to release Sowetan reporter Vusi Ndlovu, the Protea magistrates' court heard yesterday.
Senior Superintendent Mjabuliseni Buthelezi testified in the case against Maarohanye of assaulting and kidnapping Ndlovu.
Buthelezi said when police arrived on the scene, the kidnappers demanded to see Kliptown station commissioner Director Dimakatso Ndaba.
"Later, when I arrived, Ndaba was already there. They then demanded to see Sowetan news editor Willie Bokala," Buthelezi said.
He said Maarohanye's co-accused, Patricia Molaba and Thembi Dladla, were at the school's gate with Ndlovu. They told Buthelezi Ndlovu had been trespassing and they wanted Bokala to apologise because Ndlovu had disturbed a meeting of parents.
"I asked them to release Ndlovu so he could be charged with trespassing, but they refused and demanded to see Bokala," Buthelezi said.
He told the court that when Ndlovu was finally released after 6.30pm he had a swollen face and a red eye.
Maarohanye's lawyer, Ike Motloung, asked where Buthelezi obtained that information because Ndlovu had earlier testified that his face was not swollen.
Buthelezi said he had seen Ndlovu himself. He said he could not comment on Ndlovu's testimony.
Motloung said it was misleading for police to say there were negotiations because Ndlovu had spoken to Bokala and had told the crowd to wait. Bokala was supposed to come to the scene with proof that Ndlovu was a journalist
The case was postponed to August 30.