Police investigate truck driver kidnapping

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Eastern Cape police are still investigating how a truck driver managed to escape an alleged kidnapping attempt last week.

Police spokesman Captain Lingisile Magama said yesterday that 37-year-old KwaZulu-Natal truck driver Christie Manuel was on his way from Mobeni in to East London in Eastern Cape transporting cosmetics when the incident occurred.

"The driver decided to park the truck to rest when the incident happened," said Magama.

"When police got there the truck was parked along the way and the doors on the driver's and passenger's side were opened, but there was no one around."

He said that Manuel's wallet, clothes and other belongings were still inside the truck.

The truck driver was allegedly kidnapped by a group of unknown men between Idutywa and Mthatha last Wednesday.

Magama said attempts by the police to trace Manuel's whereabouts on Thursday were all in vain. But they had continued to liaise with the truck driver's family throughout the ordeal.

"Eventually he managed to escape on Friday, though the culprits had tied his hands and legs," said Magama.

"When he arrived at the police station he was dehydrated and told us that he had been held at gunpoint.

"He did not know the place where he had been taken to by the suspects."

Police believe that the motive behind the kidnapping attempt was to rob Manuel of the cosmetics he was transporting.

However, the suspects were unable to open the truck because they did not know the security code, which Manuel did not know either.

Magama said police suspected that someone had orchestrated the kidnapping attempt and were investigating this.

No arrests have been made.