Posted by George Morrison

It was this week that Ngema, a South African illegal immigrant, was sentenced in the High Court in Edinburgh for the abduction of a fellow country woman Magdeline Makola (38). Ngema barely knew his victim whom he beat up, blindfolded and bound hand and foot, taping her mouth so she could not call out. He then placed her in the boot of her car and drove to Drumgelloch Station car park. Having obtained a note of her credit card codes he then went off on a pre Christmas spending spree leaving her there in the car boot, in her night clothes, without food, water or heat in temperatures which, at times, fell below zero. The Edinburgh Royal Infirmary reported her missing when she did not turn up for work and eventually the police found her car, noticed some movement, and broke into it. This was on St Stephen’s Day – some 10 days after she had been abducted. At his trial Ngema claimed he carried out the crime because Magdeline had “dis-respected” him. The judge, Lord Menzies, was unimpressed, sentenced him to a minimum of eight years and imposed a life-long restriction order meaning that he will only be freed when the parole board decides it is safe. The judge added that it was particularly chilling that throughout the 10 days his victim was locked up Ngema continued to behave perfectly normally and calmly, enjoying the festive season. What makes this case unusual is not the amazing feat of survival of the victim or the cynical cruelty of the perpetuator but the Christian qualities shown by Magdeline. She decided that she could either panic and die in fear or she could remain calm and pray to God for a good outcome. She chose the latter knowing that her family in South Africa would also be praying as would her local Baptist church in Livingstone. When interviewed last week Magdeline said she felt nothing but pity for her kidnapper whom she forgave. Her prayer was now that, in prison, he would have time to repent and turn to the Lord. Let us praise God and pray that her ongoing prayers may also be answered.