I was almost taken by strangers

By Asavela Mbali 

South Africa has an increasing number of people being trafficked; children being snatched from their mother’s hands, children, teenagers, men and women disappearing every day without a trace. Sadly, some are found dead with missing body parts.

Walter Sisulu University (WSU) student Asive Asie Mndawo believes he had a close encounter with traffickers in East London in November. 

He says he was walking from school at WSU Eskom House campus to his res (student accommodation) around 2pm on November 10, 2020. 

When he was passing Oxford Nedbank, a stranger tapped him on the shoulder asking Asie if he did not notice the bag of money that he is passing. “No, I didn’t,” said Asie. Then the stranger said “you could not see the money because you are busy on your phone.”

Then the stranger said to Asie that they must go behind City Hall so that they can share the money because he does not want people to ask questions like where they got this money. 

“I agreed because I could see the bag was full of money but at the same time, I was still shocked why this stranger would want to share his luck with me,” said Asie. That is when Asie was starting to be scared and he offered they go to his place instead, but the stranger refused. 

After they arrived behind the City Hall the stranger told Asie to sit down and he did as he was told. Asie asked the stranger to take out the money but the stranger stood up and began talking to another stranger who had walked up behind them who then called someone else telling him where they were. Asie says the second man then said “Yes, he is here with us.”

Asie asked himself who is he talking about then he stood up and he distanced himself a little from the two strangers. 

The second stranger showed Asie his gun on his waist telling him if he runs or screams, he will shoot him dead. Asie said OK and he ran as fast as he could to his place.

“They did not take anything from me or hurt me. I was lucky because I ran to my res (Amahleke residence) in Oxford Street. I advise people must watch out and always be on the lookout for people like the ones that almost abducted me.”

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