Following the circulation of two separate misinformed posts, Kensington Community Police Forum (CPF) urges Capetonians to be vigilant and act responsibly when producing and sharing information pertaining to the kidnapping of Shanawaaz Asghar.
The six-year-old has been missing for over 24 hours after being kidnapped in the driveway in front of his home in Kensington, Cape Town on Wednesday morning just before 8.00 am.
The Grade R pupil is described as being tall and slim, with black hair and dark brown eyes. He was reportedly wearing grey pants, a navy blue school tracksuit top, and black school shoes as can be seen in the most recent photograph of him that has been circulating on social media.
No arrests have been made and the motive is still unclear. A manhunt for six male suspects and two VW polos – one white, and one silver- with allegedly cloned number plates is underway, as reported by IOL.
In a Facebook Post, Kensington CPF debunked a false claim that Asghar had been found and returned home doing the rounds on social media. The post stated that the Kensington CPF will update the public of any progress and cautioned the community to only share verified information.
Cheslyn Steenberg, chairperson of Kensington CPF confirmed that progress has been made regarding the investigation and a 72-hour activation plan to track down the boy has been implemented on Wednesday.
“The Kensington CPF herewith informs the community that progress has been made in this matter, and some noteworthy developments have been made.
“I would like to urge the public to only share verified information – misinformation can lead to secondary trauma to the family of Shanawaz,” Steenberg added.
According to The South African, a second false claim of a ransom demand being made circulating online has been noted by the CPF. Steenberg urges the community to not publicise these claims under any circumstances as even if it was true, spreading this may result in jeopardising the boy’s life.
“I see posts about a ransom being asked for. That type of reporting is irresponsible as it places the life of Shanawaaz at risk. Let us remain prayerful for his safe return…,” says Steenberg.
Asghar has not yet been found and no ransom demands have been made and the public is urged not to share false information in this regard.
Any misinformation may endanger the life of Shanawaaz Asghar, as well as cause the Pakistani family to experience further trauma.