The Citizen has exclusively learnt that two Egyptian nationals who were kidnapped in South Africa have been freed unharmed and reunited with their families.
Muwmin Hitham Kamel Gaber (19) and Fadi Said Elhadi Mohamed Hamond (31) both student pilots from a flying school in Vereeniging near Roshnee were kidnapped last month.
According to Ahram Online, the Egyptian embassy in Pretoria was working with the South African authorities and ATIS Aviation Academy to free the two Egyptian students, Minister of Emigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram said.
Haitham Kamel Gaber, Momen’s father, published a video on Facebook asking Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to save his son and his friend Fady.
A 72-hour activation was initiated by South African authorities to rescue the two students.
A source close to the investigation told The Citizen the suspects who kidnapped the students made contact with representative of the victims on Friday instructing them to drive towards a shopping centre in the South Johannesburg for a drop off of ransom money for the release of the students.
“They were instructed that the money will be dropped near a shopping centre and victims will be released.”
According to the source, the victim’s representative then proceeded to the shopping centre and awaited further instructions from the kidnappers.
A call was later received and the representatives were instructed to drop the money off under a rock at a location, south of Johannesburg.
“The drop was done and he was then instructed to return to the shopping centre and await further instruction regarding the release of the boys. Later instruction was given to the representative to proceed to the Maraisburg area where the boys will be released near a garage.”
“Members placed themselves strategically around the area for observation and awaited the release of the victims. A call was then given with instructions on where to find the boys further down in the Maraisburg area. The vehicle used by the suspects was spotted by members of the team and a takedown ensued,” said the source.
The source said the vehicle was intercepted on the N1 after Malinbongwe and two suspects were apprehended.
According to anti-crime activicst Yusuf Abramjee, more arrests are expected.
Abramjee also said the alleged suspect is a drug kingpin from the south of Johannesburg.