File pic/ SOUTH African security agents have rescued a 42-year-old Zimbabwean truck driver who was kidnapped by two gunmen who demanded an R50 000 ransom from his family and employer.

The gunmen kidnapped the driver around 3 am as he came back from shops at the country’s border with Mozambique in Mpumalanga province.

Kidnappings for ransom are becoming common in the area.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said the incident occurred near Libombo Border in Komatipoort.

“Another truck driver aged 42 who became a victim of kidnapping was rescued on Friday in Komatipoort,” he said.

“Two suspects aged 25 and 28 have since been arrested. The truck driver from the country of Zimbabwe was kidnapped on Thursday (December 15, 2022) around 3 am near Libombo Border in Komatipoort.

According to the report, the victim was kidnapped by the armed suspects under the railway bridge in Komatipoort as he returned to the truck he was driving after buying some food”.

Brig Mohlala said the man was taken by his assailants at gunpoint into the bushes.

The suspects made contact with his employer and demanded a ransom of R50 000 be deposited.

He said various stakeholders including the National Intervention Unit (NIU), South African National Defence Force (SANDF), the Airwing, Crime Intelligence, Hostage Negotiators, K9 Unit, Detectives and the victim’s employer mobilised resources in order to ensure that the victim is brought back alive.

“These members worked tirelessly and due to the rainy weather condition yesterday, on Thursday, the search had to be called off,” he said.

“The suspects contacted a colleague as well as the victim’s employer and further made some demands. Through collaboration that was made by the stakeholders, the victim was traced and found as well as the two suspects cornered and apprehended”.

Brig Mohlala said the security team recovered from the suspects an air gun, two knives, four mobile phones and a “large amount of money.”

He said the two were charged with kidnapping and possession of suspected stolen properties and they’re expected to appear at the Komatipoort Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

“The police cannot rule out the possibility that the two could have been involved in the previous kidnapping incident whereby a truck driver went through a similar ordeal in the past week. More suspects could be arrested as the investigation continues,” he said.

— Chronicle