South Africans, who barely slept on Wednesday night after reading a woman’s desperate plea for help on Facebook from the boot of her car, are spitting mad that she faked her entire ordeal.
Simphiwe Manzini Mtimande started a trending hashtag #FindSimphiwe after she reached out to friends on Facebook detailing her hijacking ordeal.
In several posts she said she was afraid for her life, that her kidnappers were planning to have sex with her and that the battery on her phone was almost out. In a follow-up to the ruse, she posted a live video on Thursday saying she was scratched but safe and out of harms way. She didn’t detail how she got free from the boot or how she reached police.
Social media users sympathised with her, attacking anyone who questioned why her story didn’t add up.
On Thursday, police released a statement saying they arrested a a 28-year-old woman for perjury, defeating the ends of justice and fraud after she reported a false hijacking and kidnapping case earlier in the day at Protea Glen police station in Soweto.
Twitter erupted with enraged people who said they hadn’t slept a wink because they were concerned for Simphiwe’s safety.
According to police, “In her statement given under oath to the police, the suspect described how on Wednesday evening, 19 May 2021, her vehicle was taken by unknown men in Mohlakeng, Randfontein, who put her inside the boot and drove around with her for the better part of the evening.
“A team under the leadership of West Rand District Commissioner Major General Fred Kekana, comprising of senior detectives, members of crime intelligence and other police response units, that worked throughout the night to locate the “hijacked woman” swiftly established discrepancies in the supposed victim’s statement. It emerged on a further probe that the said hijacking and kidnapping report was false and this was subsequently corroborated by the woman’s confession that she was never kidnapped,” read an SAPS statement.
Her vehicle and two cellphones were both confiscated by police for their investigation.