Mitchell’s Plain school alerts students after attempted kidnapping

Oval North High School principal, Nazeem Jacobs, wrote a letter to parents. File picture: Supplied

Oval North High School principal, Nazeem Jacobs, wrote a letter to parents. File picture: Supplied

Published Mar 6, 2024


Cape Town - Parents and a Neighbourhood Watch were on high alert following an attempted kidnapping and reports of a suspicious vehicle circling a Mitchell’s Plain school.

Oval North High School principal, Nazeem Jacobs, wrote a letter to parents in which he cautioned that both junior and senior learners were targeted.

This, after a learner fought off attackers while walking to school last week, and another learner reported a suspicious vehicle following them.

“Please be aware of attempted abductions of some of our learners.

“Similar reports have been reported by our neighbouring schools.

“It is not only our younger learners who are targeted but also our older learners, up to matriculants,” he said.

Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Bronagh Hammond confirmed the attempted kidnapping last Tuesday, while later that week another learner reported suspicious behaviour by men in a vehicle.

“There was an alleged attempt of abduction of a learner last week Tuesday. The learner fought the alleged perpetrators off.

“The alleged incident happened on his way to school.

“On arrival at the school, the matter was reported and the SAPS called in,” Hammond said.

She said the suspicious vehicle was not the same as the one used on Tuesday.

“This again was when travelling to and from school. The matter was reported to the police,” she said.

Police did not respond to requests for comment by deadline on Tuesday.

Hammond said since the incidents, the school was raising awareness about the possible dangers when travelling to and from school.

“We call on all learners, parents and communities to remain vigilant and alert – at all times – when it comes to the protection of themselves and our learners.

“Learners who are picked up at their school by parents or caregivers are urged to remain within the school property until they have visibly identified their transport.

“Learners making use of public transport and are expected to walk to their relevant departure areas, should travel in groups at all times.”

The WCED also asked parents to adhere to the opening and closing times of the school.

“Schools should also ensure that learners are aware of ‘stranger danger’.

“While we do not want to frighten them, they must know that they should be wary and run away if any stranger approaches them,” Hammond said.

“They should also not accept any free food, drinks, money or objects from strangers and should report any suspicious characters to an educator or administrator at the school as soon as possible.”

Colin De Hart, chairperson of the Beacon Valley Neighbourhood Watch (NHW), said their members were activated following the incidents.

“The NHW has been informed of the circular and students have been made aware to be more vigilant when walking to and from school. NHW members have been activated to assist the learners and see to their safety,” he said.