A 23 year-old student at the University of Johannesburg lived to tell the tale of her hour-long kidnapping ordeal. It emerged that a fellow 18 year-old UJ first-year student is a suspect in the drama. On Tuesday, the University of Johannesburg confirmed that a security guard at the Kingsway Campus has been suspended in connection with the kidnapper’s exit strategy.
Last week Thursday, the female student got an unpleasant surprise when she was bound with ropes and bundled into the boot of her white VW Polo by a man. Her attacker was armed with a gun. The woman later said that her kidnapper had seemed organized and well-prepared. He first took out items from her boot in order to make space for her. Despite inconsistencies with the identification he provided to campus security personnel at the access point, the man managed to drive out of the campus in the victim’s car without much hassle.
The suspect withdrew cash from all the victim’s bank accounts and abandoned her near Eldorado Park. She laid criminal charges at a nearby police station. Later on Thursday, the police found her car and arrested the 18 year-old suspect.
The woman spoke of her ordeal but did not want her identity to be disclosed. She said that her tinted windows made it difficult for the surveillance cameras to capture clear visual footage of the man who was driving her car out of the campus. “The card wasn’t working and he tried to explain to security why. Security took the card, saw a female photo and went to report it. As security left, he reversed the car and when another car entered the campus and the boom was still up, he drove through.”
According to Eyewitness News, the security guard did not escalate the matter immediately and has since been suspended. UJ Deputy Vice Chancellor Derek van der Merwe said: “It did take him around an hour to report the incident and, as a result, he has been suspended pending a disciplinary inquiry.”
The vice chancellor has ordered a full report into this breach of security and the measures that will be put in place to tighten on-campus security. Some of the preventative measures mentioned by van der Merwe include increased visible policing and active security patrols on all UJ campuses.