The Gauteng member of the executive council (MEC) for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, today expressed concern about the escalating number of incidents of kidnapping of young children in the province.
She has encouraged parents to be cautious following three incidents of child abduction and extortion reported in the Ekurhuleni North policing precinct since the beginning of this month.
“A 17-year-old boy was kidnapped on December 1 at Kromiet street, Croydon. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of R10,000 — working closely with hostage negotiators, the family managed to pay an amount of R5,000 through an e-wallet transaction. The child was robbed of his cellphone and an amount of R450 before being dropped off in Hillbrow, Johannesburg,” said Nkosi-Malobane.
She said a case of kidnapping was opened at the Sebenza police station and investigations were currently underway.
In another incident Nkosi-Malobane said a six-year-old boy was kidnapped on December 2, at Clayville Ext 34 and the kidnappers demanded a ransom of R15,000. The family of the child managed to pay an amount of R2,000 through an e-wallet transaction and the child was later dropped off at Kaalfontein KFC. A case of kidnapping and extortion was opened at the Olifantsfontein police station.
“As the country marks the festive season period, safety of Gauteng citizens continues to be a matter of priority to the Gauteng Provincial Government. I am deeply saddened about the recent incidents of kidnapping and extortion involving young children. These incidents happened within a space of three days and the modus operandi for demanding ransom seems to have been the driving force behind them.”
“I have instructed the provincial police management to assign a top and well-established team of detectives to stop hunt down these criminals. It is very important that these criminals must be brought to the book swiftly to face the full might of law. Children are supposed to be protected by everyone in society,” said Nkosi-Malobane.
“We cannot fold our arms and allow criminals to instill fear in parents and to deprive children of their rights to live, play freely in their communities.”
The third incident took place on the December 3 at around 4pm in Clayville Ext 21 where three boys aged eight and nine years respectively were kidnapped.
The suspects were using a white Mazda 3 and demanded ransom for the release of the children. The parents paid a total amount of R4,500 through e-wallet transaction. After the payment was effected, the children were released and dropped off near the Sasol garage in Midrand. A kidnapping case was opened at Olifantsfontein police station.
Nkosi-Malobane said the children were all taken to hospital for medical examination and the results showed no signs of injuries.
– African News Agency (ANA)