The increase in femicide has South African women of all ages worrying about their safety. The question “Am I Next?” is continually being asked. There is also a collectively felt sense of fear for the well-being of young girls.
A post shared on the popular Fish Hoek Voice Facebook group has had many parents on high alert, and questioning the safety of their little girls while visiting the beach.
“I just want to share my experience I had today on Muizenberg beach and hope parents are more vigilant because the world has become a scary place,” the post reads. “So while we were sitting on beach, I notice this guy walking on the beach and seems like he is on a video call. Then he stops and takes a picture of a young girl while the mother is there, who doesn’t seem to be bothered, and carries on walking along the beach and then takes another picture of a little girl.”
According to the post, the children the stranger was taking unsolicited pictures of are all in the same age range.
“I found it very strange and my wife also saw him. So I decide to follow him down the beach. By the time I catch up he has turned around and now there is three of them [men photographing young girls], and he had taken pics of more girls,” the post continues.
The writer of the post then reportedly followed the suspicious men for a short distance before stopping by the official Shark Spotters office. When there, he asked the Shark Spotters to report the incident to police.
“Then I eventually catch up to them again and they literally took another pic of a little girl [who is] maybe three years old, but the mother saw and goes to pick up her child and looks at them,” the post reads.
Hereafter followed a confrontation between the father of the three-year-old and the men who allegedly took pictures of his daughter, with the suspects denying that they had ever taken unsolicited photographs of any children.
“Soon after the confrontation, they were missing. This definitely looked like human trafficking or something of the sort going on. So please be very careful out in public places. And Muizenberg beach seems to have become a hotspot for this as just two weeks ago my mother experienced the same thing but the law enforcement and the public caught the guy doing the same thing and he tried to run away. This kind of thing only takes a few seconds, so please be careful out there,” the post concludes.
Cape Town Etc called both the Fish Hoek and Muizenberg police stations to confirm the incident, and neither reported that any criminal cases had been opened following the incidents. “Nothing was reported to us directly, but we saw the reports on social media,” Communications Officer for Muizenberg Police Station, Captain Knapp, said.
The officer on duty at Fish Hoek police station, who preferred not to have his name mentioned, also confirmed that no such incident was reported over the weekend.