UUCSA Statement | Spike in Kidnappings – Meeting with National Intelligence
The United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) had a successful meeting with representatives from the Counter and Security Intelligence unit on the 8th December 2021 in Cape Town. UUCSA had requested for the meeting to discuss the growing spate of kidnappings in the country, its impact on the Muslim community and the subsequent lack of confidence in the ability of South African Police Service (SAPS) to adequately deal with the scourge.
SAPS response to the invitation was conducted under the directives of the Deputy National Commissioner: Crime Detection, Lieutenant General LE Ntshinga and attended by Major General Feroz Khan, Component Head: Counter and Security Intelligence. The delegation included representatives from Muslim NGO’s, Muslim businessman and members from the Ulama fraternity. A brief overview of deliberations with members from the Counter and Security intelligence included the following:
- Corruption within the ranks of the security cluster has added to the spike in kidnappings in South Africa and has hindered investigations.
- Investigations pertaining to kidnappings has now been made a priority within the unit
- Appropriate resources have been budgeted to tackle the scourge
- Whilst some syndicates operate at an international level with very high level of sophistication, there are other syndicates that target the middle income level earners who make use of ‘embedded scouts’ located at different levels to identify potential victims. There are also opportunistic groups that operate within the informal business sector demanding protection fees failing which they resort to kidnapping as a bargaining tool.
- Kidnaping is oftentimes not an isolated crime but is linked to a host of other crimes such as the illegal firearms trade, vehicle theft, drugs smuggling, police corruption and money laundering.
- The Security cluster’s recent success in busting these syndicates was made possible by the cooperation of family and community members. In instances where members of the family or community refuse to cooperate with the police, the ability of the police to deal with the situation was significantly compromised.
Representatives from the security cluster have appealed to the community to remain vigilant and have undertaken to convene further meetings at a provincial level with a view to reassure the Muslim community that the Security Cluster is giving the requisite attention to this scourge.
Yusuf Patel (Moulana)
UUCSA Secretary General
05 Jumaadal Ulaa 1443 / 10 December 2021