Elderly man kidnapped at Johannesburg Botanical Garden: No ransom demand yet

Police are investigating the kidnapping of an elderly man who was taken by three men and put into a white panel van.

No contact by kidnappers has yet been made with the family or police in connection with the 85-year-old man who was kidnapped – in front of eyewitnesses – from the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens yesterday.

The man was kidnapped by three men at around 09:50, and put in a white panel van of sorts.

His identity has not yet been confirmed, but SCP Security previously confirmed it is assisting the Parkview police with the case. Parkview police yesterday told Northcliff Melville Times that they are unable to comment on the matter and directed the newspaper to the provincial spokesperson, Captain Jeff Phora, who is yet to respond to requests for information.

Speaking to the publication about the current state of the matter, SCP Security owner Clive Maher confirms there has been no updates in the case.

“I am of course in touch with the family but there is no good news yet, but no bad news either. I am unsure what to make of that at this stage. There has been no contact made, no ransom demand or any lead whatsoever.”

He and other law enforcement officials from specialised task teams are meeting today to plot a way forward.

Ward 88 councillor Nicolene Jonker says it is devastating for something like this to happen in the ward. “What a frightening incident, I hope the gentleman is found soon and unharmed.”

City Park’s response

City Parks and Zoo (JPCZ) spokesperson Jenny Moodley yesterday expressed deep concern over the incident and emphasised close collaboration with police. While refraining from commenting on the incident specifics, as this information has to be provided by SAPS, Moodley underscored her personal worry and keen interest in the situation’s resolution.

“Park rangers have already been on-site, along with a contingent of private security at the Olifants Road entrance, the admin block and the main parking area,” said Moodley.

Further to Moodley’s comments, the managing director of JPCZ, Thanduxolo Mendrew, added his voice to the messages of concern. “This is a really unfortunate incident. We are always concerned with the safety of members of the public and any incident that takes place in our spaces is a great concern to all of us.”

Read original story on www.citizen.co.za

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