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Manenberg woman taken hostage

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Manenberg woman taken hostage

by Nurene Jassiem
21 Feb 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

Tensions ran high in Manenberg on Sunday, 18 February as a four-hour long hostage drama unfolded in Kei Street.

When People's Post arrived at the scene, scores of curious onlookers had already gathered across the road from the house where the hostage was being held.

The Manenberg Police cordoned off the road while the police's Intervention Unit stationed themselves strategically around the house.

The hostage taker, a 49-year old man, was released from prison two years ago after serving a 22-year sentence for murder.

Bystanders say the man had taken his girlfriend hostage in his house around 17:10 in what appears to have been a lover's tiff. It is believed that his girlfriend had occupied his house while he was in prison.

Bystanders at the scene of the crime say the woman's family lives opposite the house where she was taken hostage. By 19:00 police were still uncertain as to what weapon the hostage taker was using to threaten her, despite the fact that the police's hostage negotiator had been in contact with him for nearly two hours.

The Intervention Unit had members staged along the perimeter of the house while the hostage negotiator tried to reach an agreement with the suspect through an open window.

By sunset the police had not managed to enter the house although they had hoped to gain access to the building under natural light.

At 21:00, after removing a burglar bar from a window in the front of the house, the Intervention Unit gained access to the house - unbeknown to the suspect.

The police's Special Task Force Unit arrived at the scene at around 21:10.

Within minutes, they managed to penetrate the house and seize the suspect, who had used a knife to threaten the victim.

The crowd, of about 100 people, cheered as the police brought the suspect out of the house and escorted him to a police van before taking him to the Manenberg Police Station.

The victim's daughter, who had stood outside the house while the drama unfolded, was too traumatised to speak to anyone and proceeded to a nearby house.

The victim sustained no physical injuries but was taken to GF Jooste Hospital in Manenberg for shock treatment. The suspect is expected to appear in the Athlone Magistrates Court today (20 February).

Meanwhile, eight people were arrested for drunken driving on Friday night during a roadblock on Duinefontein Road in Manenberg. Small quantities of dagga and tik were also confiscated during police raids on Saturday night.

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