Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) was contacted telephonically this evening (Monday 17/05/2021) by Sangeeve Sooknunan, a resident of Verulam in Kwazulu Natal. Sooknunan is seeking assistance in locating 40 year old Shailendra Deon Rambhajan (pictured) who was kidnapped from a truck by suspects on the R61 near Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape on Saturday May 15, 2021 at approx 20:00.
According to Sooknunan (38) he had requested that Rambhajan who he had known for approx 20 years, accompany him to a trip from Johannesburg in Gauteng to Willow-vale in the Eastern Cape. Sooknunan is the owner driver of a Mercedes Benz 8 ton truck belonging to Redrose Logistics.
Sooknunan informed RUSA Officers that while he was driving a truck that was loaded with 150 trolleys, he had missed the turn to Butterworth and drove into Cofimvaba where he had to take a detour into a short gravel road to avoid roadworks. As he entered the road traveling at a speed of approx 20 km/h he noticed that several suspects had climbed onto his moving truck. A vehicle then pulled up behind him and attempted to stop him.
Sooknunan added that the road was extremely dark and he began to swerve the truck to prevent the suspects from climbing into the cab. At that stage the suspects opened the passenger door and pulled out Shailendra Deon Rambhajan. Sooknunan said that he continued to swerve the truck and lost his load dropping 150 trolleys as he re-entered the tarred road in an attempt to flee the area.
According to Sooknunan, he then noticed a Police Vehicle belonging to SAPS Queenstown and he drove up to them to seek assistance. He further added that the Police refused to accept his explanation regarding his erratic driving & the kidnapping of his friend and arrested him for Reckless & Negligent Driving and Driving Under the Influence of Liquor. He added that he showed Police two mobile phones belonging to his missing friend that were left behind in his truck but no search was conducted to locate the suspects or the victim. He remained in custody overnight and was released the next day without charge. This explanation has not been verified.
Sooknunan added that after his release from Queenstown SAPS he drove to Cofimvaba SAPS & explained to the Police regarding the kidnapping of his friend. The Police then accompanied him to the scene and Rambhajan could not be located. 118 of the 150 trolleys have reportedly been recovered by a passing tow truck operator on the night of the incident. His request to open a criminal case was declined and Sooknunan then drove back home and explained the sequence of events to the Rambhajan family who immediately registered Shailendra Deon Rambhajan as a Missing Person at Phoenix SAPS ref. 884/05/2021 & Circulation No. 193/05/2021.
If you have any information regarding this case, kindly call Reaction Unit South Africa on 0861234333 or the South African Police Service on 10111.
Kindly circulate this post to Hospital Staff, Law Enforcement & Crime Groups in the Eastern Cape.