Bail application delayed for Sandra Munsamy kidnapping accused

Sandra Munsamy was found shackled in a house in Mpumalanga six months after she was kidnapped.
Sandra Munsamy was found shackled in a house in Mpumalanga six months after she was kidnapped.
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The bail application for two men implicated in the multimillion-rand kidnapping case of Durban businesswoman Sandra Munsamy has been postponed.

Accused three and four appeared on Tuesday alongside their co-accused in the Durban magistrate's court, where their hopes to have their bail application finalised were dashed.

This was after the state deposed an affidavit by Hawks investigating officer Abraham Sonnekus that cited various reasons why the pair should be denied bail.

The Hawks previously made an application to bar the media from identifying or photographing the accused due to the sensitive nature of the case.

TimesLIVE reported that accused one and three are South Africans, and accused two and four are Mozambicans. None have been named.

They face charges related to kidnapping, attempted murder, extortion, robbery with aggravated circumstances, and entering and remaining in the country without a valid permit — a count expected to be dropped against the two South Africans after investigators are understood to have verified their citizenship.

Munsamy, a key figure in the multibillion-rand Xmoor Transport family business empire, was allegedly kidnapped by armed men, setting in motion a hostage and ransom drama that spanned six months. Hawks detectives found the businesswoman alive and shackled in a house in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, in November — 162 days after she disappeared.

The Hawks said her captors had demanded ransom of R140m.

Sonnekus said both accused “were complicit in detaining the victim under the most inhumane, undignified condition by keeping her chained to a wall”. 

He said during investigations it was established that the applicants had been conducting intense surveillance on Munsamy, as well as her family.

He added that there was a great likelihood that both applicants would evade trial if they were released on bail due to their extensive travel history to Mozambique, highlighting that SA does not enjoy any extradition agreement with the country.

The matter was postponed to September 3 to allow the accused's defence to respond to Sonnekus's affidavit.