Child kidnappings a pandemic in South Africa, says Missing Children SA

Missing Children SA says child kidnappings have become a pandemic.

Missing Children SA says child kidnappings have become a pandemic.

Published Nov 10, 2022

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Cape Town – Missing Children South Africa says the country is losing the fight against the rising number of child kidnappings.

The civil society organisation believes that the issue is now a pandemic, as the country records a drastic increase in these kinds of crimes and police needs to be hands-on in fighting the rise in numbers.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said the police spent almost six months chasing a suspect and with a stroke of a pen the magistrates gave the suspects bail, they ran and the police were expected to find them again.

Speaking to Newzroom Afrika, Missing Child SA’s national co-ordinator, Bianca van Aswegen, said the system of law in the country in some instances was making it impossible to protect children from something like kidnapping.

“We have seen so many cases where a perpetrator is out on bail or parole and our children fall victims of this once again.

“It’s the department that is involved that needs to change and make our voices heard in order to stop this problem from happening,” she said.

She also highlighted that the country was not learning any lessons in ways in which these syndicates were currently operating.

“Unfortunately it is very difficult because these syndicates are very sophisticated and I don’t think they have been studied enough, we haven’t been implementing the right channels to combat this problem.

“One of the main things is that crimes like these are finding more loopholes to get away with what they’re doing,” she said.

Aswegen maintained not knowing where your child is should be a wake-up call to report that and there is no waiting period to report the child kidnappings or persons who are missing.

“The first 24 hours are absolutely crucial when a child or a person is missing and we call that golden because that person could be anywhere in the world.

“We really hope that people do listen to these messages or awareness we are pushing.

“If the case is reported immediately from our side as organisations we get flyers out as soon as possible spreading awareness to vast networks of people and being in contact with the police immediately.

“It is difficult but once the case is reported action can be taken,” she said.

Having a large following on social media to spread the awareness, Aswegen says that as an organisation that type of a strategy is positively yielding good results and assists police in finding these children that go missing.

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Kidnapping