Siphiwe Manzini Mtimande (29), the woman arrested for faking her own hijacking and kidnapping, was released on bail of R2000 on Monday, 24 May after spending the weekend in jail.
Mtimande, whose real name is Phindile Kunene, triggered a social media frenzy a week ago when she shared details of her alleged kidnapping after she was ‘shoved into the boot of her car’. She went to the extent of giving out her number plate and asked followers and friends to help trace her movement so they could save her because her phone was dying.
Kunene even played on people’s emotions by saying her kidnappers were talking about who is going to have sex with her first.
Her posts were shared thousands of times, and she had the public invested in her safe recovery. The following morning she shared a live video saying she managed to escape her kidnappers and was safe, but scratched up. Kunune even lambasted police for not sympathetic and efficient.
Police officers didn’t believe her story and upon further investigation realised something was not right. They questioned the ‘victim’ and eventually she cracked and admitted it was an elaborate lie. Kunene was arrested on the same day and charged with perjury, defeating the ends of justice and fraud.
When she appeared in the Protea Magistrate’s Court in Soweto the charges were lessened to contravening the Oath of Commissions Act.
Phindi Louw-Mjonodwane, NPA Gauteng spokesperson, said her case was postponed to June 18, pending further investigations by the NPA and police.