Three men, including a man found in Mozambique, have been arrested in connection with an 11-year-old girl who was kidnapped outside her school in Mayfair, Johannesburg, in November last year.

THE GIRL WAS RESCUED FROM A HOUSE IN SOWETO

The 11-year-old girl Maha Qassim, who was kidnapped outside her schoolyard in November 2021, was rescued last night during an Intelligence-led operation.

Qassim was kidnapped at gunpoint on the morning of 17 November 2021. This happened outside the school gate while she was waiting in line to be sanitized and screened.

POLICE SAID THE GIRL WAS RESCUED UNHARMED

According to police spokesperson Lt Col Robert Netshiunda, members of the Crime Intelligence Anti-Kidnapping Task Team and the Johannesburg Flying Squad pounced on a house in Devland, Soweto, around midnight on Tuesday.

“The girl was rescued unharmed and was taken to a medical facility for medical examination. She has since been reunited with her family,” he said.

A MAN WAS ARRESTED IN MOZAMBIQUE

Netshiunda said the people who were at the house evaded arrest but added that a 40-year-old man was arrested in Mozambique.

“The man was arrested on Friday, 31 December 2021 and Interpol is busy with the extradition process.”

TWO OTHER MEN WERE ARRESTED IN DECEMBER LAST YEAR

Netshiunda said two other men, Ayanda Kekana (50) and Fortune Kambule Ndlovu (36) were arrested in December 2021 in connection with the same kidnapping.

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THE ALLEGED KIDNAPPERS WILL BE BACK IN COURT ON FRIDAY

“Their bail application was denied when they appeared at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on 7 December 2021. They will be back in court on Friday, 7 January 2022.”

He said police investigations continue.

Meanwhile, the Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said he is delighted that the girl learner from E. P. Baumann Primary School in Mayfair returned safely on Wednesday.

COUNSELLING WILL BE PROVIDED TO THE GIRL

“We are delighted to receive this good news of the safe return of this girl learner. We will avail our Psycho-Social Unit to provide additional counselling to her given the trauma she has faced during this unfortunate incident,” Lesufi said.

The Gauteng Department of Education’s Spokesperson, Steve Mabona said according to information at their disposal, the girl’s mother received a call from the police on Wednesday informing her to come to fetch her child at the police station.

ALSO READ: JUST IN: Schoolgirl kidnapped outside school in Mayfair

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