Former head boy kidnapped just hours after Gqeberha kidnap victim's release is still missing

26 March 2023 - 15:25
By Khanyisile Ngcobo and Nivashni Nair
Hilton Wicks was kidnapped in the early hours of Friday near his home in Maclear, Eastern Cape
Image: Facebook Hilton Wicks was kidnapped in the early hours of Friday near his home in Maclear, Eastern Cape

Young businessman Hilton Wicks — kidnapped just hours after the confirmed release of a Gqeberha biokineticist on Friday — was still missing on Sunday. 

Eastern Cape Hawks spokesperson Yolisa Mgolodela said there were no developments in the case.

“Law enforcement officers are up and about trying their level best,” said Mgolodela.

Wicks, 24, was apparently grabbed in Maclear in the early hours of Friday, according to several posts shared on social media. 

One of the posters shared on Facebook said Wicks — a former head boy of Kingswood College in Makhanda — was last seen with the alleged kidnappers driving towards Langeni in a White Polo with an unknown registration plate.

Wicks was apparently dressed in a white shirt and brown pants while the suspects had “reflective vests on”.

A friend who shared a similar post on her Twitter page confirmed the incident to TimesLIVE but declined to provide more details due to the sensitivity of the matter.

She initially said: “Hi everyone. Our friend Hilton Wicks was kidnapped in Maclear this morning. He was last seen in a branded 'KwaWicks' Hilux van in the greater Libode area. If you live around Mthatha, Willowvale, Libode and Port St Johns please look out for him.”

“They’ve [since] deployed helicopters in the Libode/Langeni area,” she later confirmed, saying these were privately sourced. 

It was earlier confirmed that Gqeberha biokineticist Riana Pretorius was found safe and unharmed, more than a week after being kidnapped outside a medical practice.

HeraldLIVE reported Pretorius was returned to her family at 2am after being dropped off at a garage in Struandale.

Pretorius, 26, was reportedly abducted outside a Newton Park medical practice in Pickering Street, Gqeberha, when she arrived for work. 

She was allegedly forced into a white Toyota Corolla by three armed men. A frantic search had ensued to find her, with reports emerging that a ransom demand was made to her family.


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