Johannesburg – The 29-year-old Gauteng woman who was arrested for the fake hijacking and kidnapping saga which played out on social media has been released on R2 000 bail at the Protea Magistrate’s Court in Soweto.
The woman, whose real name is officially Phindile Kunene and not Simphiwe Manzini Mntimande, as she claimed on Facebook, spent the weekend behind bars after her arrest on Thursday.
Kunene has been charged with contravening the Oath of Commissions Act for allegedly submitting and deposing a false statement to the police when she reported at the Protea Glen police station that she had been kidnapped and hijacked.
Using her Facebook account which uses her clan names, Kunene had thousands of South Africans tweeting and posting out of concern, after she claimed that her Toyota Corolla had been hijacked and that she had been shoved in the boot of her car during the ordeal.
She also claimed that she was on the verge of being raped during the “hijacking”, which police say she has allegedly confessed, never happened.
NPA Gauteng spokesperson Phindi Louw-Mjonodwane said her case had been postponed until June 18, pending further investigations by the NPA and the police.
She said charges of perjury, defeating the ends of justice and fraud had been withdrawn, and she would only be charged for contravening the Oath of Commissions Act.
The woman had posted numerous messages on Facebook, claiming she was on the verge of being raped and was being kidnapped by criminals who shoved her in the boot of her Toyota Corolla during a “hijacking”.
She had been purportedly posting the messages on her Facebook profile from the boot of her car.
She allegedly confessed to police that the hijacking and kidnapping was fake and that she was actually at home when she posted the messages.
Thousands of people had shared the woman’s apparent ordeal on social media, commenting out of concern as calls for the woman to be found reverberated into Thursday morning.
Gauteng spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said last week: “It emerged on further probing that the said hijacking and kidnapping report was false and this was subsequently corroborated by the woman's confession that she was never kidnapped.”