CAPE TOWN – A Gatesville resident who witnessed the kidnapping of eight-year-old Abirah Dekhta said the crime left her traumatised.
The woman was one of a number of community members who gathered at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday – where seven men made their first appearance on charges of kidnapping and extortion.
READ: Abirah Dekhta kidnapping: 9 suspects expected to appear in court
Dekhta was rescued by police from a shack in Khayelitsha on Monday night almost two weeks after she was snatched from her scholar transport vehicle in Gatesville.
Isobel Pillay said the kidnapping of Dekhta’s dominated her thoughts.
The woman recalled how the kidnappers pulled up behind Dekhta’s scholar transport vehicle.
Armed with large guns, she explained, the kidnappers snatched the eight-year-old and drove off with her.
READ MORE: Family, community relieved after Abirah Dekhta (8) rescue
“It just goes in your mind all the time and you would be thinking ‘ooh my God what I saw today can happen to my grandchild’. This is really traumatising. It’s not something nice to witness. You can’t do anything you are helpless.”
The Wynberg Magistrate’s Court heard that the seven men were found in and around the shack where Dekhta had been held captive after police received a tip-off that she was held in Khayelitsha’s Town Two area.
The accused are due back in the dock on 7 December for a formal bail application – which the State said it would oppose.