Taxi driver sent to jail for kidnapping boys

07 Mar 2016 18:30pm
KATIMA MULILO, 07 MAR (NAMPA) – A taxi driver found guilty of kidnapping has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment by the Katima Mulilo Magistrate’s Court.
Magistrate Nomsa Sibanda on Monday sentenced the 29-year-old Sabiso Samulandela, who was found guilty of kidnapping Mario Ndumba and Given Mata when he locked them in the boot of his taxi on 17 October 2015.
“The boot is not meant for human beings, but for luggage. Kidnapping is a serious offense. The accused showed no respect for the victims’ rights to freedom of movement. The accused pleaded guilty and did not waste the court’s time and he showed remorse,” Sibanda said.
Last week, Samulandela’s two co-accused: Vasco Kabaolwa, 24, and Midricks Tubazube, 31, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Initially, the trio faced charges of kidnapping, human trafficking and robbery, but the State decided to drop the other two charges last week during plea and trial.
Kabaolwa and Tubazube both pleaded not guilty, saying they were just passengers in the taxi driven by Samulandela.
A statement read by Samulandela’s legal counsel, Hope Ngara said he locked up the boys because he wanted to “punish and teach them a lesson” as they had angered him by allegedly taking photographs of himself and his friends while they were drinking in a park at night.
Samulandela, a single father of two minors, said he did not intend to get involved in human trafficking when he drove the boys to the Katima Mulilo dumpsite where they were rescued by members of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol).
The three were accused of kidnapping the boys after robbing them of their mobile phones when they approached the victims at a park in the town centre.
The boys were Grade 12 learners at the time. They claimed they had been taking photos of themselves in the park at night while on their way home from buying electricity tokens.
The men allegedly demanded the boys’ cell phones as they suspected the learners of having taken photos of them while they were urinating in the park.
They then apparently forcefully grabbed the boys and demanded that they get into the boot of the taxi.
NamPol officers on patrol, who found the vehicle at the dumpsite and ordered the accused to explain what they had been doing in that area late at night, rescued the boys.