My son is not a bad man, but he must pay for crimes - dad of Florida 'child grabber'

18 September 2020 - 16:22
Naseem Slamang claims he suffered serious injuries when he was attacked by people at the restaurant.
Naseem Slamang claims he suffered serious injuries when he was attacked by people at the restaurant.
Image: Sunday Times/Thapelo Morebudi

His son is not a bad person, but he must pay for his crimes, Ebrahim Slamang said on Friday outside the court where Naseem Slamang appeared after allegedly attempting to snatch a child in broad daylight at a restaurant in Florida, Gauteng.   

The 24-year-old appeared at the Roodepoort magistrate's court on Friday and made a U-turn on his bid to apply for bail. Slamang was arrested after allegedly trying to kidnap a four-year-old girl at the restaurant last week.

“We don’t support what he did. We are also angry. We don’t want him to get bail. We want him to pay for his crime,” his father told TimesLIVE.   

He said his son is not the bad person he has been made out to be on social media, but admitted he did not always stay on the right path.

Family threatened

He said the family had taken a toll over the restaurant incident, and has even received death threats.

“We will kill him” and “we know where you stay” read some of the text messages received by the father.

He said he’d received several  messages regarding the incident.

“I no longer read them. I just delete them immediately,” he said.  

On Thursday the court heard that Slamang had a criminal record — with three convictions — but details of the incidents were not revealed.

His father said these had been “petty crimes” like stealing.

Asked if he had seen the footage of the alleged attempted kidnapping, the father responded “yes”. 

“I don’t know what got into him”.

He said he does not rule out the possibility that his son could have been on drugs or intoxicated.

What have we done?

Another family member who also attended the court proceedings questioned why people would come after them.

“We understand people are angry, but what have we done?” he said.    

During the court appearance, Slamang had bruises on his head and a blackened eye. One arm was bandaged and in a sling.

His attorney, Eric Mahlalela, told the court his client sustained “serious injuries” during a “mob attack” leading to his arrest. He said his client sustained further injuries after getting into a fight in the holding cells on Thursday night.  

In a video widely circulated on social media, a man wearing clothes similar to those Slamang wore in court on Thursday was seen jumping over a railing at the restaurant and racing towards a young girl sitting with two women. He proceeded to grab her, but within seconds a man lunged towards the perpetrator and rescued the girl.

The case was postponed to October 15 for further investigation. Slamang remains in custody.