Three Hawks officers have been injured in a shootout that ensued between the officers and some kidnappers. The shootout was as a result of a successful rescue operation through which a woman who was abducted and held hostage for ransom was safely rescued on Thursday night.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulauzi stated that the 36-year-old woman was abducted at her home in Nirvana‚ Polokwane on Tuesday for the purpose of getting a huge ransom from the family
The middle-aged woman was about to park her car at home after a long day when two men appeared from nowhere and grabbed her. She was blindfolded and bundled into the back seat of their vehicle before zooming off to an unknown destination with her.
The family later got a message from the kidnappers demanding “a sizeable ransom” from them to ensure her release.
Necessary arrangements were made and it was agreed that the money would be exchanged between Polokwane and Lebowakgomo on Thursday night.
However, the family decided to get the police and Hawks officers involved in the matter. Then at about 8pm on the appointed day‚ the family delegates were on their way to the agreed spot where the woman will be exchanged for a ransom when the kidnappers told them to stop and offload the money at Ga-Chuene near Lebowakgomo.
“The kidnappers arrived at the scene‚ got out of their vehicle whilst pointing a firearm to the victim‚” Mulaudzi said.
“As they advanced to where the loot was put‚ they realised the presence of police and they started shooting‚ injuring three officers.
“The kidnappers then vanished into the bushes‚ leaving the loot and their suspected stolen grey VW Polo at the scene,” police said.
The life threatening experience left the woman traumatized but most importantly, she was unharmed.
Police have launched a manhunt to locate the kidnappers while the injured Hawks officers are receiving medical attention at a Polokwane hospital.