The state’s plans to conduct an identity parade involving four police officers who were released on bail for allegedly kidnapping 10 Bangladeshi nationals last month, led to the case being put on hold yesterday.
The four Silverton cops briefly appeared before the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court yesterday on charges of extortion, kidnapping and human trafficking.
They allegedly kidnapped the Bangladeshis on March 27 on the N1 highway after they were smuggled through Zimbabwe into the country.
The officers allegedly abducted them using marked police vehicles. Two of the Bangladeshi nationals were released after the officers allegedly received a ransom from their family members.
They appeared in court earlier this month and were granted R3,000 bail each, but the state requested the matter be postponed to June pending an identity parade.
The officers’ attorney, Solomon Mkhabela, found it strange that this only happened several weeks after their arrest and first court appearance.
“In the bail application, it was mentioned that before their arrest, the investigating team had been visiting where the accused were stationed. The forensic tests were being run on the vehicles used by the accused, and the state did not elect to do an ID parade.
“The timing of bringing this application is problematic and disturbing.”
The identity parade was expected to be held on May 16. The matter has been postponed to June 6.