Moti family blocks police from interviewing kidnapped brothers
Investigation into the four boys’ kidnapping has been hampered by a ‘bizarre’ interdict
The family of the four Moti brothers who were kidnapped in October last year have refused permission for the boys to be interviewed by police, getting an interdict barring officers from interviewing them.
Police have also been prohibited from interviewing other family members.
This is according to SAPS spokesperson Lt-Col Robert Netshiunda on Sunday, speaking amid reports that the family had left SA and moved to Dubai.
In October last year, the four Moti brothers — Zidan, 7, Zayyad, 11, Alaan, 13, and Zia, 15 — were abducted in a kidnapping involving seven gunmen on their way to school.
They were released three weeks later.
“We couldn’t even interview the boys after their release. The family said they don’t want anything to do with the police,” Netshiunda told Sunday Times Daily on Sunday, adding that officers couldn’t obtain statements from the children because the family obtained interdicts barring them from doing so.
“Police have been interdicted from speaking to any of the family members or even coming to the family home, so we couldn’t take any statements from them,” Netshiunda said.
The police invested a lot of time and effort, millions of rand, in searching for the children. These kidnappers need to be brought to book.Crime activist Yusuf Abramjee
According to Netshiunda, the family obtained the interdicts immediately after the release of their children and said that has halted one of the crucial points of their investigation because once a kidnapped person was freed, police needed statements for further investigation.
The police spokesperson said that though they couldn’t confirm if the family had relocated to Dubai, as was reported on Sunday, they believed that was the case because there was no one at the family home.
“We didn’t see them leave but it’s possible that they have moved, though we don’t know if it’s permanent or not,” he said.
Netshiunda could not confirm whether the kidnapping case had been closed or if investigations were ongoing.
Speaking on Sunday, crime activist Yusuf Abramjee labelled the move to interdict police from interviewing the Moti children as bizarre and unfortunate.
Abramjee criticised the decision by the family and said, though he could understand their decision could have been one of the conditions for the release of their children, the family should never bow to pressure from the kidnappers.
“Often kidnappers threaten their victims and their families and say: ‘If you cooperate with the police we’ll do this and the other.’ But that gives them no reason to say we don’t want to work with the police. The police invested a lot of time and effort, millions of rand, in searching for the children. These kidnappers need to be brought to book,” Abramjee told Sunday Times Daily.
He called on the family to reconsider its decision.
“I believe this gang is highly dangerous and we shouldn’t make their jobs easier. Why allow them to smile all the way to the bank?” Abramjee said.
Moti family spokesperson Keshia Patchiappen would not confirm or deny if the family had moved to Dubai, nor why they chose to interdict police from obtaining statements from the boys or other family members.
“At the moment the family is choosing to not comment on any of those issues,” Patchiappen said.