e.tv to flight kidnap story
Former EL magistrate, Cesar, produces doccie on toddler’s abduction in 2015
A television documentary about the case of a three-year-old Mdantsane toddler who was abducted from her family home and whisked away to Mozambique by her nanny in August 2015, will air for the first time on e.tv on Sunday.
The brains behind the doccie Taken, which was directed by East London filmmaker, Lumko Dukashe, is former state prosecutor and East London magistrate Joel Cesar.
Executive producer Cesar recently resigned his job as a bail court magistrate and is planning to start in private practice as a defence advocate.
He was state prosecutor during the trial of 36-year-old domestic worker, Sindisiwe Cresentia Alberto Ntsokana in 2015.
Ntsokana had disappeared with the child after two weeks and later, together with an accomplice – an unknown man – demanded a R500,000 ransom for her safe return.
The now seven-year-old girl, Perfect Gift Msesiwe, of NU6 in Mdantsane, was eventually found unharmed in an impoverished village near Maputo, Mozambique, more than a month after being abducted.
Ntsokana, who had been hired as a domestic worker in July 2015 by Siyabonga and Zolelwa Msesiwe, was arrested in Gauteng on September 4, 2015.
She eventually pleaded guilty to the crime and was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment.Speaking to the Dispatch on Friday, Siyabonga said they were excited about the documentary, saying it would help inform others of the dangers of not properly screening people they employed.He said it would also enlighten others “about the beautiful work done by the law-enforcement agencies such as the Hawks in bringing our child back alive”.Siyabonga said his child was doing “very well” since her return and had not displayed “any emotional scars or shown any trauma”.The father said his daughter could not remember much about her 2015 ordeal “even though she recognises the word Mozambique every time it’s mentioned on TV”.Cesar said Taken was part of a series of documentaries, dubbed the Kiss of Justice, which he planned to produce, about “finalised cases” he had prosecuted or presided over as a magistrate.
Taken was commissioned late last year after Cesar submitted a proposal to e.tv.He said other documentaries he intended producing would look into court cases that involved the murder of a university student while on her way to a graduation ceremony, farm murders, xenophobic attacks, cash-in-transit heists, serial rapists, ukuthwala and gang-related and drug cases.Cesar said he was inspired to produce short films after he experienced the dedication shown by some police investigators, prosecutors and magistrates in courts across the Eastern Cape in solving and concluding some of these cases.“It [documentary] will be educational and dedicated to the police investigators who had to focus on every little detail in trying to solve their cases, educational to prosecutors and law students on how such cases should be dealt with to secure a conviction, and also give insight to members of the public on how the justice system operates in prosecuting and concluding some of these serious cases.“This is basically to share knowledge as one leaves the employ of the justice department, and also to pay tribute to dedicated police investigators, the crime victims, the judiciary, the National Prosecuting Authority and all the people who give their all to ensure that criminals are eventually brought to book,” he said.“Through these doccies, I wanted to share knowledge and transfer skills before I go into private practice.“I wanted to share whatever I have learned, so that those left behind could prioritise paying attention to detail when working on similar cases.”In the documentary Cesar talks about how while a prosecutor, he was approached by an investigator dealing with the case.He speaks about what they went through in trying to secure the warrant that paved the way for them to track Ntsokana’s cellphone, including having to visit magistrates at their homes over the weekend.He said this case had taken him out of his “comfort zone” as he had never dealt with one involving a missing child.In the documentary, the child’s parents relate their story. They recount how they were constantly phoned by a man who demanded a R500,000 ransom, how they illegally crossed the Mozambican border in a bid to find their child, and the joy they experienced when they were finally reunited with their daughter.Dukashe said actors from Mdantsane’s Stepping Stone acting programme were utilised for reenactments in the documentary.It is scheduled to air at 6.30pm on Sunday...