Durban — The Teddy Bear Foundation has warned parents about online predators who lure children and teenagers into sexual conversations in cyberspace.
This comes after the arrest of suspects in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal who are linked to child pornography cases.
In an interview with Newzroom Afrika, Dr Shaheda Omar said parents need to ensure that they are aware of who their children are engaging online, and activate software that restricts inappropriate content.
“Having certain rules and regulations of when the children can have access to the internet and monitoring is critical and the responsibility lies with parents. The state and local technical agencies also need to find ways of protecting children so they do not have easy access to any online or harmful sexual content which may lead to risky situations,” said Omar.
According to SAPS the first suspect is a 53-year-old man, who was arrested last Wednesday. He has so far been found with 95 000 images and 6 000 videos of child pornography.
The second suspect, is a 40-year-old man, who was arrested in Kraaifontein on Thursday. He was found with more than 149 000 pictures of child pornography.
The third suspect, is a 32-year-old man, who was found to be chatting and luring minor girls on chat groups where nude pictures were exchanged.
In 2023, police arrested three suspects in Gauteng and one in KwaZulu-Natal in a similar take down operation.
“Engaging with children and making them aware that there are predators and abusers online waiting for any kind of opportunities which will lure them and make them feel special. Parents need to consistently ensure that their children understand the dangers of cyberspace predators,” added Dr Omar.
According to the study by Unisa’s Bureau of Marketing Research Unit regarding South African children’s exposure to and/or addiction to porn which is based on a survey of SA-based children under 18 years, more than 55% of those surveyed watch pornography regularly and 10% watch it every day.
The research further shows that 35% of the children who watch pornography don’t care if it’s illegal.
Some 30% of those minors, watch violent pornography.
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