Since the spike in child abduction attempts in recent weeks, and several schools in Cape Town have sent letters to parents warning them of such incidents. Milnerton Pre-Primary School, and Woltemade Primary School are two of the schools who felt the need to caution parents about the abductions.
In their letter, Woltemade Primary School, told parents of the attempted kidnapping of a two or three-year-old boy took place mere metres away from the school. A parent reported the kidnapping to the school office after he had witnessed a white Opel Corsa stop beside the little boy and his nanny. Two unidentified males reportedly exited the vehicle and attempted to grab the little boy from his nanny before trying to force him into the vehicle.
“During this time, while she was still trying to prevent the apparent kidnapping of the boy, this parent came to assist her,” the school said. “The suspects then allegedly jumped back into the car and sped off.”
Milnerton Pre-Primary School also shared a suspicious incident with parents to raise “acute awareness” around the safety of learners.
Parents reported a recent incident to the school, which occurred at the popular Canal Walk Shopping Centre. An unknown woman in braids had her hand on the shoulders of one of the school’s learners in the mall’s public bathrooms and was taking pictures of the little girl as she shielded the child from the view of her mother.
“Mom then screamed at the woman, telling her she had no right to take photos of her child,” the school said. “The woman simply said ‘its ok, its ok’, and when the mom shouted that it is not ok, the woman spoke to another woman standing just inside the bathroom door in a different language and both of them quickly slipped out and left.”
The incident was reported to Canal Walk management, who tracked the women as they made their way through the mall.
After the family chatted to the Child Protection Unit of the South African Police Service, they were informed that this is the specific modus operandi of taking children and that the mother’s daughter was likely to have been taken by human traffickers.
Missing Children South Africa reports that on average, a child goes missing every five hours in South Africa.
Here is a list of tips that could be the difference between your child’s safety and being abducted:
– Make sure to know the whereabouts of your child at all times
– Ensure that your child knows all the important addresses, contact numbers and important names from a young age, including their home address, home telephone number, and names of their parents
– Teach your children to scream as loudly as they can, and teach them that it is okay to do so when they feel threatened or uncomfortable
– Enforce strict rules when your child is in a public place, such as the rules for picking up your child at school or taking them to the movies
– Listen carefully when your child mentions anyone they have met that you have not yet met
– Make sure to have pictures of your child that are constantly updated, and make special notes of any distinguishing features such as freckles or curly hair