From the news desk

Parker family makes impassioned plea for his release

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The family of kidnapped Cape Town businessman Liyaqat Parker have made an impassioned appeal for his release, describing him as a “devoted family man and astute businessman”, who built up his business through hard work over many years. The 65 year businessman was shoved into a bakkie at gunpoint as he pulled up inside the basement of his business premises in Parow yesterday morning, allegedly by five suspects. Police are investigating a case of armed robbery and kidnapping.

Parker is a founding member of the Food Property Group and is also a community worker and philanthropist, having served as a member of the Friends of the Childrens Hospital Association for many years. In a statement to the media, the family said it was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. But the family has expressed concern over Parker’s health.

“Our father and brother is an elderly man so we appeal to those who may be involved or know the persons connected to this crime to please release him unharmed before his health deteriorates,” said the family in a statement released by Werkman’s attorneys.

Anyone with information can contact SAPS detective De Vries on 082 493 8472

On Wednesday, Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said he was concerned about the seemingly increasing number of kidnappings in the province involving prominent business people, for the apparent extortion of large sums of money from the family for their release. Parker’s abduction has brought the number of apparent ransom extortion kidnappings to four cases over the last two years.

“Kidnappings in the province cannot become the new lucrative and profitable criminal venture,” said Plato.

“Though this might not seem like a lot, the rand value money involved in the previous cases may be very lucrative if it is a lone syndicate operating, or might even seem enticing to those criminals always looking for the next opportunity.”

He has urged the South African Police Service to ensure that those responsible for the latest kidnapping – and previous cases – are arrested.

“The public, and particularly business leaders working hard in this province to help build our economy, need to be assured that the police is doing everything in their power to prevent these kidnappings and to ensure those responsible face their day in court.”

Plato said he will be writing a letter to the Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Jula, requesting him to assign top provincial detectives to uncover the extent of criminal involvement and interconnectedness between these cases.

“We need to unmask those responsible and ensure they receive their day in court to face the full might of the law. This will unnerve those contemplating similar crimes, because they will be caught and will go to jail,” he said.

“I will use the audience I have with National Police Minister, Bheki Cele, later in the month to discuss this seemingly increasing trend, and possible measures both my department and the police can take.” VOC

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