The victims, two men aged 34 and 64, were rescued after a shootout with the kidnappers, South African police said in a statement. One of the kidnappers was killed, the second was hospitalized and four others were arrested during the police operation carried out late on Monday, it added. The police stressed that after the kidnapping, last Sunday, the kidnappers “immediately began demanding ransom from their families.” Quoted by the Lusa news agency, South African police said that the victims are of South African nationality. Last week, two Portuguese businessmen were rescued by South African police in the city of Soweto, southwest of the city of Johannesburg. The first was rescued on Monday and the second on Thursday. In total, six people were arrested in connection with these two cases in Gauteng province, where Johannesburg, the economic capital, and Pretoria, the country’s capital, are located. Over a six-month period, more than 54 kidnappers operating in Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga and the Free State were arrested. South Africa is facing a worsening of the crime of kidnapping in which large sums of money are demanded for the ransom of victims, according to the police.

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