Kidnapped Cape Town girl was rescued after 'tip-off'

Aron Hyman Reporter
Gatesville community members protest outside the Wynberg magistrate's court on Thursday.
Gatesville community members protest outside the Wynberg magistrate's court on Thursday.
Image: Aron Hyman

Kidnapped eight-year-old Abirah Dekhta was rescued by police in Cape Town from a house in Khayelitsha thanks to a tip-off.

When police raided the house at 5pm on Monday, they found three men guarding the premises and another four inside with the child. They attempted to flee when police officers stormed the house but were all rounded up and arrested.

The seven suspects appeared in the Wynberg magistrate's court on Thursday. The court ordered that their names not be published as police were yet to hold an identity parade.

Their appearance was accompanied by a heavy police presence and the court was filled with community members.

The gallery was split between relatives and friends of the accused men and angry  members of the Gatesville community in Athlone, where Dekhta was kidnapped.

Some of the accused appeared nervous and shivered as they stood in the dock. But accused No 5, the smallest of the group, and accused 7, a large 46-year-old man, appeared calm.

According to the state, Dekhta was travelling on school transport on Friday November 4. At 7.20am the school transport stopped in Gatesville to pick up a fellow pupil when a Nissan double cab bakkie arrived with five men inside.

They boarded the bus and snatched Dekhta before speeding off.

The accused were charged with extortion and kidnapping. TimesLIVE understands a ransom was demanded from the family.

According to family friend Imdaad Harris, who protested with Gatesville community members outside court, Dekhta's father owns a cellphone shop.

Dekhta was moved three times during the kidnapping ordeal but, he added, was “well taken care of” by her abductors.

Protesters demanded that bail be denied for the accused.

Accused 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 were represented by a private attorney while accused 5 and 6 opted for legal aid.

The case was postponed for a bail hearing on December 7.


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