Kidnap suspects released due to insufficient evidence
The four men who were arrested in connection with the alleged attempted murder and kidnapping of Mzwandile Ntuli have been released from custody.
Ntuli was kidnapped on Friday afternoon in Hillbrow‚ Johannesburg. The 27-year-old alleges that he was sedated and severely assaulted at a house in Albertville allegedly rented by one of the accused.
The accused were arrested on Saturday. They were due to appear at the Sophiatown Magistrate’s Court on Monday but their matter was not placed on the roll for further investigation.
National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Phindi Mjonondwane confirmed that the men had been released.
“The case was not placed on the roll due to insufficient evidence. The complainant’s whereabouts are unknown and his statement is still outstanding‚” said Mjonondwane.
Mjonondwane said one of the accused is an emergency practitioner at a private hospital in Johannesburg. The other three men are taxi drivers.
“Once evidence has been collected the men will be summoned to appear in court‚” she said.
Ntuli was saved by neighbours who heard him scream after his attackers left him alone in the house.
He claims he has no idea why he was attacked but he is convinced that the men wanted his body parts. He has been discharged from hospital with stitches on his right cheek‚ neck and below his left nipple.
Ntuli said he has reported the matter at the Hillbrow police station.
We found Ntuli wounded at Helen Joseph Hospital on Friday night. He told the publication that he had not spoken to any police official since being kidnapped.
The emergency car that brought him to the hospital was called by the private security company that attended to the house.
We later visited Albertville on Friday and police were not seen near the house.
We visited the area the following morning and again there were no police on site.
When this reporter visited Albertville on Sunday‚ the house was not sealed off by police tape.
Some blood in the bathroom appeared to have been washed off. A roll of tape used to gag Ntuli could be seen in the shower‚ while blue latex gloves were left on the kitchen table.
“The motive for the crime is not yet known. Investigators are still gathering information. Blood samples have been sent to the laboratory‚” Sophiatown police spokesman Captain Xoli Mbele said on Sunday.