Women accused of trying to snatch toddler sues mom for defamation over video
Cape Town - The two women accused of trying to kidnap a two-year-old girl from Heideveld have laid charges of harassment and defamation against the child’s mother for posting a video about them online.
The 44-year-old single mother from Belgravia, who sells cupcakes for a living, has asked not to be named because she fears her nine children might be victimised.
She said she’s been struggling to rebuild her life after divorcing her husband of 23 years earlier this year.
Her youngest child is just four years old and she and her eldest daughter are baking cakes to keep survive.
On Sunday, mom Chantel Claasens, 32, posted a video on Facebook, claiming two women in hijab and driving a white BMW tried to snatch her daughter under the guise of selling cupcakes.
She went to Manenberg Police Station to report the matter.
The Belgravia woman said a friend alerted her to the video on Monday.
“I did not pay attention to it until she insisted I watch it. I could not believe it and sent it to my daughter,” she said.
“We met with the detectives (the same day) and we met the little girl’s mother too. I was confused about the allegations.”
She said it is all a misunderstanding.
“I never put her baby in the car. She climbed on the front seat and her foot still got stuck between the open door and the car. The child spoke to me and we chatted a little as her bigger sister watched.
“The gate of the house was locked and my daughter approached the house where a few people, including the mother and father, were sitting in the lounge. The girls were playing unsupervised in the front.”
She said a “frantic” Claasens came rushing out to get her daughter: “I should have realised that she thought the worst.”
She said the whole debacle has turned into a nightmare.
“This business is how I feed my children and keep the lights on. I am now losing business,” she said.
“When people see my car, they literally take pictures. What if someone attacks us? I am very afraid and have asked Chantel to make another video to say we are not kidnappers. I have, however, taken out a harassment order against her, and I am suing for defamation. It is the only way to get back our dignity.”
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut said the kidnapping issue has been resolved: “All parties concerned were interviewed by SAPS, and no criminal charges were registered. The matter is regarded as finalised.”
Claasens said on Thursday her concerns were genuine: “I did not make the video to cause trouble but to raise awareness of a real fear I have. I thought my child was being taken and I reacted to that.”