Cape Town - Schools have been urged to encourage learner safety outside school premises after reports of alleged abductions.
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said it noted a recent video circulating on social media related to an alleged abduction attempt of an Alexander Sinton High School learner.
WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the alleged incident occurred on Tuesday afternoon, while the learner was on the way home from school.
“The principal was informed last night of the alleged attack and reported the matter to the SAPS and their community security company, who have agreed to increase patrolling in the area before and after school,” Hammond said.
In the footage, the distraught learner informs her father and others of the incident, when a man walking by grabbed hold of her by the neck, from behind, while a vehicle with its doors open was ahead of her.
The learner kicked the assailant and ran back to the school. The WCED has arranged for counselling support.
“There is a lot of concern within communities of recent reports of alleged abductions of females in the Cape Metro area. While SAPS would like to be able to verify the authenticity of all of the reported cases, we can confirm that no recent cases have been confirmed by schools, apart from the incident as described above.
“All other allegations referring to schools, including the alleged incident in Tafelsig on Tuesday, have been unfounded,” Hammond said.
Hammond did, however, call on learners, parents and the communities to remain vigilant and alert at all times.
Newfields Primary School issued a letter to parents this week relating to pick-up and drop-off changes for increased learner security. The WCED said this was not due to any incident involving any learners of the school.
Anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee said the kidnapping scourge had been present for some time.
“We are getting reports of more and more incidents, especially of school children in the Cape Town area.
“In terms of kidnappings generally, we know there are a number of active cases in the Cape Town area as well.
“While police have made some inroads, it is still becoming a problem. So-called copycat gangs appear to be at work. It’s very worrying that they are now targeting schoolchildren and my advice is, always be alert.”