Kidnap charge for ‘jailing’ boy, 7, for alleged theft of sweets

A boy was allegedly locked in a gas bottle storage room as punishment for stealing.
CAGED: A boy was allegedly locked in a gas bottle storage room as punishment for stealing.
Image: SUPPLIED

MTHATHA BUREAU

A Caltex employee in Mthatha has been arrested and charged with kidnapping after allegedly locking a child in a gas storage room to punish him for stealing.

The boy, seven, was seen locked behind a gate by his uncle, who happened to be filling up his car with petrol at the Caltex in Northcrest on Sunday. Police spokesperson Captain Dineo Koena confirmed the incident.

“The uncle asked the child why he was behind the gate with a padlock on it. The boy pleaded with him to pay the garage staff so he could be released,” Koena said.

When the uncle asked garage staff inside the shop what was happening, he was allegedly told that the boy had stolen R16 worth of sweets and if he wanted him released, he should pay R1,000.

"The uncle said he did not have the R1,000,” Koena said.

The employee, 26, is due to appear in the Mthatha magistrate's court on a kidnapping charge on Monday.

The manager of the garage, Luthando Qangule, said: "I have heard of the incident but I do not have details yet so I cannot comment right now."

siyat@dispatch.co.za

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