News / 30 August 2018, 06:45am / Francesca Villette
Cape Town - Schools and parents are on high alert following the abduction of a third Cape pupil, which ended with her being raped while on her way to school.
This comes as Kraaifontein police have appealed to the public to help find missing 9-year-old Previledge Mabvongwe, who was last seen at a taxi rank wearing her school uniform.
The abducted Grade 9 pupil was snatched while she was walking to her southern suburbs school last week. The name of the school, known to the Cape Times, is being withheld to protect the pupil’s identity.
Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said they were investigating a case of rape after unknown suspects travelling in a white BMW with tinted windows took the pupil. The attackers drove around with the girl for hours before letting her go.
“A case of rape was opened for investigation at Steenberg SAPS after a 15-year-old girl was abducted by unknown suspects in a white BMW while she was on her way to school on August 23 at 6.55am.
“Family violence, child protection and sexual offences investigators are investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident.
“Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stop at 0800 10111,” Rwexana said.
Earlier this month the provincial education department said they had received reports of two kidnappings in the Zonnebloem area, and one attempted abduction in Rylands.
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer yesterday said the pupil who was recently abducted had received medical attention, and a school social worker and psychologist were providing counselling to her and her family. “This raises concerns for our learners who travel alone to and from school, especially girls.
“The safety of our pupils outside the school gates remains beyond our control, but schools need to ensure that there are safety measures in place at dismissal time,” Schäfer said.
“Pupils who are picked up at their school by parents or caregivers should remain within the school property until they have visibly identified their mode of transport.
“Pupils who require public transport and are expected to walk to their relevant departure areas should travel in groups at all times.
“However, where feasible, parents must please arrange that this is as close to the school as possible,” she added.
Rwexana said Mabvongwe went missing in Kraaifontein on Monday. “She was dropped off by the taxi close to her home.
“At the time of her disappearance, Previledge was wearing her school uniform, blue jersey, navy school skirt and black shoes,” Rwexana said.
“While we do not want to frighten them, they must know that they should be wary and immediately seek help if a stranger approaches them.
"Pupils must be taught not to accept any free food, drinks, money or objects from strangers and should report any suspicious characters to an educator or administrator as soon as possible,” Schäfer said
Milnerton Pre-primary School has also issued a “Stranger Danger” circular after a mother caught a woman taking pictures of her daughter in one of Canal Walk’s bathrooms, and the woman had placed her hand on the child’s shoulder.
“The mom screamed at the woman, telling her she had no right to take photos of her child. The woman simply said ‘its okay, its okay’ and when the mom shouted it was not okay, the woman spoke to another woman standing just inside the bathroom in a different language, and both quickly slipped out and left,” the circular read.
SA Democratic Teachers Union provincial chairperson Jonovan Rustin said the union was shocked by the incident.
“Our pupils are precious, and we need to do everything to ensure they are safe while travelling to school,” Rustin said.
Any incidents should be reported to the police, as well as to the Safe Schools Call Centre, at 0800 45 46 47.