In most of the kidnapping cases reported in the 2017/2018 financial year‚ the victim knew his or her abductor.
This was revealed in the latest crime statistics released by the police ministry on Tuesday.
Police said 292 out of the 544 victims knew their abductor. Eight of the kidnappings resulted in murder. Many of the kidnappings (146) were motivated by controlling behaviour‚ usually fuelled by jealousy‚ anger or even debt‚ the police said.
Others were related to labour disputes‚ taxi clashes and domestic violence. No motive could be established in 85 of the cases.
A total of 121 crimes in this category were sexual in nature. Seventy-five people were kidnapped following robberies or hijackings‚ while 79 were kidnapped in mob justice incidents.
Of all the kidnapping cases that were reported‚ only 10 involved a ransom demand. In one of the most recent kidnapping-for-cash incidents‚ Gauteng businessman Shiraz Gathoo was kidnapped on the N12 in a bogus police roadblock in March.
It was reported at the time that his abductors had demanded a R50-million ransom for his release. It was not immediately clear whether the family of the owner of the Devland Cash and Carry wholesaler business had paid the ransom but he was released last week and reunited with his family.
In April this year‚ the Sunday Times reported that more than 40 businessmen have been kidnapped in South Africa over the past three years‚ with sophisticated syndicates demanding ransom for their safe return. The police and Hawks have set up a special task team to combat the crime.
Another kidnapping that made headlines earlier this year was that of Gabisile Shabani from Witbank in Mpumalanga. She was forcefully taken from her home‚ along with her 15-month-old nephew Nkosikhona.
It was later learnt that Gabisile‚ who had albinism‚ had been kidnapped and murdered for her body parts. Nkosikhona had been mistaken for another toddler in the house‚ who was also living with albinism.
He had been killed and thrown into a stream on the N4 between Witbank and Pretoria. Their alleged abductors have since been arrested and are awaiting trial.