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Private investigator describes Amy-Lee’s abduction as ‘beyond strange’

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Amy-Lee's abduction

A private investigator who specialises in tracing missing children, Wendy Pascoe, described the abduction of Amy-Lee de Jager as “beyond strange”.

Four men kidnapped the girl, aged six, shortly before 8am on Monday morning near Kollegepark Laerskool in Vanderbijlpark, bundling her into a white Toyota Fortuner before speeding off.

The men allegedly pushed her five-year-old brother, Jayden, aside to get to the girl. Later they contacted Amy-Lee’s father, Wynand de Jager, telephonically with a ransom demand of R2m.

The abduction spurred police to launch a province-wide manhunt, calling in hostage negotiators and tracing teams, augmented by the crime intelligence unit.

“At this stage the police have hostage negotiators and crime intelligence working on the matter, and I have handed over to them. When the call came through, we began assisting the police station, as we do with other cases of missing children,” Pascoe told TimesLIVE.

“This is not something we usually see with kidnappings. This is not an everyday occurrence and I don’t want to say too much. What is odd is that the vehicle wasn’t taken but the child was. Usually, when children go missing in circumstances like this, it is because they are caught up in an effort to steal a car,” she said.

Another curious aspect of the case, Pascoe said, was that the abductors seemed to have targeted Amy-Lee specifically.

“The men paid no attention to the other children at the school, and that should tell us they were waiting for Amy-Lee,” she said.

Meanwhile, ER24 paramedics were summoned to the Vanderbijlpark police station on Monday afternoon, where parents and hostage negotiators had been meeting since the morning.

ER24 spokesman Russel Meiring said that paramedics were called out to assess Amy-Lee’s parents, with her mom complaining of shoulder pain after her child was wrenched from her arms. Both parents’ vital signs were checked and were stable, and neither required further treatment.

A family friend who was at the police station to support the family, Shaun Douglas, described Amy-Lee as a lovable child.

“She loves giving hugs and drawing pictures,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Gauteng education department has expressed “shock” at what happened to Amy-Lee. It said it was supporting pupils and parents.

“We have sent our psychosocial unit to the school to offer the necessary support and counselling to all affected by this unfortunate incident. Some parents took their children home. A parents’ meeting is scheduled for later this afternoon to help allay fears,” the department’s spokesman Steve Mabona said.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said: “We call upon members of the public to not disrupt our schools and instil fear in children. Learners must feel safe in the school environment, which is conducive for effective learning and teaching.

“The safety of learners and teachers is our priority. Under the circumstances, the situation is calm. However, we will continue to monitor the situation.”

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Skeem Saam’s Koko Mantsha death dismissed as fake news

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Koko Mantsha, the popular Skeem Saam character acto, real name, Lydia Mokgokoloshi is not dead.

Social media is awash with news of her death which seems to have been fuelled by fake news sites aiming to profit from unsuspecting lovers of the 80 year-old veteran actress.

Lydia Mokgokoloshi, has appeared in many television shows including Muvhango and Bophelo ke semphego.

Mokgokoloshi was born on 27 September 1939, in Polokwane, Polokwane Local Municipality, Capricorn District Municipality, Limpopo.

She is most famous for acting as Koko Mantsha the grandmother of Katlego Pietersen (Patrick Seleka) in the soap, Skeem Saam.

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Watch: Thulani Dlomo an alleged ‘Zuma spy’, hands himself in

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Thulani dlomo

Thulani Dlomo, the axed former SSA top spy and former SA ambassador to Japan has handed himself over to police on Friday.

Dlomo’s lawyer Philani Shangase said that he handed himself over at his own will at the Durban Central Police station on Friday.

He said Dlomo was not arrested but wanted to clear his name following media reports.

Dlomo was being interviewed by police officers at 17h00 on Friday.

“He has denied all wrong doing,” Shangase said.

Dlomo was suspected to be one of the instigators of the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

This is a developing story.

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Residents warned against consuming dead fish washing up at Umhlanga and Umdloti beaches – video

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The eThekwini Municipality has sent out a warning to residents against collecting and consuming dead fish and crayfish that have washed up on the beaches of Umhlanga and Umdloti, north of Durban.

The public has been asked to refrain from fishing, surfing and swimming on the beaches after a video of the dead fish on the beaches emerged on social media.

The municipality said it was investigating what caused the marine life to die.

“It is considered serious and can affect one’s health if collected and consumed.”

According to reports, run-off water and chemicals reached the ocean through storm water drains after firefighters battled a blaze at a chemical plant at Cornubia started by looters on Tuesday.

WATCH | Outrage after several monkeys and dog poisoned in Umdloti

“The public is advised to refrain from all recreational activities, including fishing or surfing, bait collection and picking up of dead species in this area,” said the municipality.

“Collecting or harvesting of any marine living resource in the area is temporarily prohibited until the cause is determined and the threat has abated.

“Authorities are investigating the source of the pollution and cleanup companies are trying to contain the spill.”

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