Farmer kidnapped while paying his workers rescued from assailants driving hijacked Mercedes Benz

Farmer kidnapped while paying his workers rescued from assailants driving hijacked Mercedes Benz

A 37-year-old man, Ernest Nkosi was arrested in Mpumalanga after a farmer was allegedly robbed of his vehicle, as well as an undisclosed amount of money at a farm in Belfast.

Nkosi has appeared before the Belfast Magistrate’s Court for possession of a hijacked vehicle.

He also faces charges of armed robbery.

After the robbery, members of the SA Police Service (SAPS) at Belfast collaborated efforts with farmers in the area, which led to Nkosi’s arrest.

“It is said that on Friday, June 28 2024, a farmer was allegedly robbed of his vehicle as well as an undisclosed amount of cash at a certain farm in Belfast. It is further reported that during the incident, the victim was busy paying his employees when four suspects driving in two vehicles, a Mercedes Benz sedan and a Volkswagen Polo suddenly showed up and then allegedly attacked him,” said Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Colonel Donald Mdhluli.

“It is also alleged that Nkosi was amongst the suspects. The victim was held at gunpoint and forced into the rear side of a bakkie before they took off with him.”

Mdhluli said one farmer suspected that there was something sinister going on, by the manner in which the bakkie was travelling.

The suspicious farmer then followed the bakkie while summoning assistance from other neighbouring farmers.

“The escape route was immediately blocked and that was when two suspects abandoned the bakkie then jumped into a Mercedes Benz,” said Mdhluli.

“Meanwhile, the men and women in blue were alerted about the incident and they immediately proceeded to the scene. The Mercedes Benz was spotted again at a certain farm nearby.

“It was during this period when the police in conjunction with farmers cornered the vehicle. However, the suspects realized that they had ran out of plans. They then abandoned the vehicle and took to their heels to evade the arrest,” said Mdhluli.

Police said Nkosi was soon found hiding in nearby bushes and he was arrested.

“Preliminary investigation has since revealed that the Mercedes Benz was fitted with false registration number plates and it was reportedly hijacked at Verena (in Mpumalanga) in May,” said Mdhluli.

“Police are currently hard at work and doing their best to bring the other suspects behind bars, and members of the public with information on their whereabouts can call the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111, or send information via My SAPS App. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.”

Meanwhile, acting provincial commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Major General Zeph Mkhwanazi has commended the partnership between police and the farmers.

“We encourage communities in other areas to emulate from this incident that yielded positive results. The provincial management commend you for not taking the law into your hands, but involved the authorities in resolving the matter,” said Mkhwanazi.

Last week, IOL reported that two suspects, Simphiwe Dhladhla, 32, and Siphiwe Sigasa, 31, were remanded in custody after appearing in a Limpopo court for possession of a stolen Toyota Fortuner and a Toyota Hilux GD-6 bakkie.


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