DURBAN – In February, Mmelli Ngcobo was accused of stealing a classmate’s cell phone. He was then allegedly abducted outside his school a day later. Now, almost two months later, his family is still searching for answers about the whereabouts of their 16-year-old son.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Colonel Thembeka Mbele said on Wednesday (February 17th) that Mmeli was accused of taking a cell phone belonging to a classmate at her high school.
She said the student did not report the matter to the school principal, but instead informed her parents of the alleged theft.
She said the parents came to the school and approached Mmeli and asked her to return the phone to her.
A few days later, Mmeli was seen in a Mercedes-Benz. It was the last time the teenager was seen.
Police said a man was arrested in connection with the alleged kidnapping but has since been released on bail.
Mbele said the suspect is due to return to court later this month. She did not indicate the amount of the bail or whether there had been an update to the investigation.
Yesterday, locals held a protest in Newlands West to ask what was going on with this case. The group dispersed after being stopped by the commander of the local police station.
The teenager’s father, Prince Ngcobo, said it was sad the community had to hold a protest for there to be movement in the case.
DA KZN Community Safety and Liaison spokesperson Sharon Hoosen said when crime happens in any area the community looks up to SAPS to step in and make them feel safe again. security, but when crimes against women and children are not treated as a priority, it creates negativity which later leads to protests against SAPS.
“This seems to be a constant problem in various communities who have lost confidence in the police who are supposed to serve and protect them,” she said.
Hoosen said the family and community of Newlands West deserved answers as to whether there was an ongoing investigation into Mmelli Ngcobo’s kidnapping.
“It has been over a month now and this matter is still unresolved. I will be dealing with this matter with the Acting Provincial Commissioner to ensure this matter is expedited so that the family can receive updates from the. SAPS., “She said.