‘Kidnapper’ must compensate Welkom woman, says court


The magistrate’s court in Welkom, Free State, found on Wednesday that Molefi Johannes Qosheka (45), one of Charmaine Botha’s alleged kidnappers, must pay her R30 000.

The court ordered that the money be paid to Charmaine by the end of the month.

Charmaine was abducted from her workplace in 2018 and held against her will before her alleged captors approached the management of the Harmony gold plant where her husband, Johnny, worked and demanded gold in exchange for her release.

Johnny reported the kidnappers’ claim to Harmony and the police and the mine management gave him a gold bar worth R6.5 million so that Charmaine’s release could be achieved.

She was detained for more than 12 hours.

Qosheka was arrested along with Sechaba Selloana, Tumo Taile, Wellington Sithole, Tsepo Masasa, Lovemore Ndlovu, Aleck Sigauke, Kathelo Mototo, Mmusoa Seloana and Hlomelang Abram shortly after the kidnapping.

The defendants stand trial for, among other things, kidnapping, extortion, possession of unworked precious metal and money laundering.

Selloana was in possession of a Jeep Cherokee, R580 000 in cash and 21 pieces of gold worth R3.2 million. Sithole and Taile were caught with R524 000 and R260 000 respectively, while Ndlovu was in possession of a Nissan Almera.

Selloana and Qosheka admitted that they played a role in Charmaine’s kidnapping and that they divided the gold bar into smaller pieces and falsified them in Sebokeng.

Several vehicles believed to be the proceeds of crime and stemming from the kidnapping were forfeited to the state in September 2021. Three vehicles, cash of R1.3 million and pieces of gold worth R3.2 million were declared forfeit thanks to the successful application of the asset seizure unit.