Indian-origin minor kidnapped in South Africa

by IANS |

Johannesburg, Nov 14 (IANS) South African police continue to search for an eight year-old Indian-origin girl who was kidnapped by two armed men in Gatesville, Cape Town, two weeks ago, local media reports said.

Abirah Dekhta, a student of Rylands Primary School, was sitting in her school transport vehicle when she was abducted on the morning of November 4.

Abirah is one of five children of cellphone businessman Aslam Dekhta and wife Salama, who live in Rylands and are originally from India, the Cape Times reported.

Fowzia Veerasamy, chairperson of the Gatesville Neighbourhood Watch, said they had handed over CCTV footage to the police, but there were no fresh leads.

Veerasamy said a white Nissan double cab bakkie rapidly pulled into the driveway at Amber Court where the lift club driver had been parked in his maroon-coloured vehicle.

Two men jumped out of the vehicle with firearms and held the driver at gunpoint. They took the driver's cellphone and snatched Abirah by the neck, forcing her into the bakkie, Veerasamy told Cape Argus.

The South African Police Service has since indicated that they were unable to comment about the case due to the sensitivity of the investigation.

According to local media reports, Abirah's case is the latest in at least 200 kidnappings in the Western Cape, involving mostly foreign nationals in the past few months.

Most kidnappings are for ransom, they added.

Abirah's family said they have been anxiously waiting for a phone call from the people who took their daughter.

Meanwhile, hundreds of anxious Gatesville residents marched to the police station in Athlone in the weekend demanding urgent and safe return of Abirah.

"We want Abirah. We want justice. Bring back Abirah," the protesters chanted.

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