4 men arrested near Ladysmith for kidnapping woman with the intention of marrying her

Four men appeared in the Bergville Magistrate’s Court yesterday (January 4) on charges of abduction. It is alleged that they abducted an 18-year-old woman with the intention of forcing her to marry one of them.

While conducting crime prevention operations at the Emmaus turn-off on the R74 in Bergville on Wednesday, Public Order Policing (POP) officers stopped a silver Renault motor vehicle.

There were four men and one woman inside the vehicle. The woman was sitting in the back seat, between two of the men. Police noticed that the woman was upset.

All the occupants were asked to step out of the vehicle, and the woman was taken aside and interviewed.

She informed police that on Wednesday (January 3), while visiting her sister at Maphumulo near Kranskop, she was approached by the suspects, who forced her into their vehicle and brought her to Bergville in order to marry one of the suspects.

The four men were promptly arrested for abduction. The suspects – aged 28, 37, 38 and 42 – were charged for kidnapping.

The KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa, commended the officers for rescuing the victim.

“We cannot tolerate people who are allegedly kidnapping women with the intention of forcing them to marry these criminals. There is no place for ukuthwa (the practice of abducting young girls and forcing them into marriage) in our society anymore,” he said.

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Sameera Motala

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