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Prophet, 'conspirators' given bail

By unknown | Oct 24, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Five men and a prophet accused of kidnapping a three-year-old girl and later demanding a "ransom" of R28000 from her uncle, were yesterday released on R2000 bail each.

Aaron Sigelela Bulunga, 32, Sibusiso Ngalanga, 19, Mfanzile Gwebu, 38, Sibusiso Khumalo, 19, Veli William Madonsela, 24, and prophet Knowledge Makhubela, 23, appeared in the Boschfontein periodical court on charges of kidnapping.

The six allegedly kidnapped Lulu Shabalala of Jeppes Reef outside Malelane in the Nkomazi area. A day after the child was reported missing, her neighbours, Gwebu, Ngalanga and Bulunga, advised the family to seek help from Makhubela, who stays about 60km away.

"We were surprised when the prophet demanded a whopping R28000 to find my little niece," Lulu's aunt, Phindile Mogale, told Sowetan last week.

Lulu, who was snatched while playing with friends outside her home last week, was found safe three days later at the Nelspruit taxi rank. The prophet had led the family to the taxi rank through his "prophesy".

The six allegedly kidnapped Lulu and then charged her uncle, Sam Shabalala, R28000 for helping him find his niece.

The family then paid a deposit of R300 and promised to pay the balance after the girl was found.

After paying the R300, the prophet then told the family that the child was in Nelspruit taxi rank and was about to be taken to Bushbuckridge by unknown people.

Prophet Makhubela, accompanied by Gwebu and Bulunga, accompanied the girl's uncle to the taxi rank.

Shabalala's wife, however, had secretly called the police, who followed them at a distance.

"On the way, the prophet kept sending SMSes, and when we arrived at the taxi rank, he advised us to search in the taxis, especially those going to Bushbuckridge "because he could see my niece in a Bushbuckridge-bound taxi". Lulu's cries were eventually heard, Mogale said at the time.

She said one of the men later confessed that he was made to kidnap the girl by a local well-known prophet. The five are expected to appear in court again on Thursday next week.


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