Cape Town - An attempted kidnapping left Kensington residents appalled after the suspect, who is known to the complainant, entered her home and attempted to take her five-year-old grandson without her consent.
The suspect was cornered by community members and assaulted after the complainant raised the alarm, and in the process the toddler sustained bite wounds, allegedly inflicted by the suspect.
Kensington CPF Chairperson, Cheslyn Steenberg said it was believed that the suspect, who is seemingly mentally challenged, was assaulted by the community before he was handed over to police.
"He is currently being detained at a medical facility while being treated. The young victim was also admitted to a medical facility for his wounds. While the circumstances surrounding the assault are being investigated, we appeal to residents to always place personal security front of mind at all times. Crime has no address and can pounce on a person at any time and place.
"Our children must be protected at all costs. This incident again reminds us that we have members of society that simply have no heart at all," he said.
Community activist Kevin Alexander said the incident highlighted the importance of raising awareness around human trafficking, particularly now that schools are re-opening.
"Personally, I think a lot more awareness needs to be done, especially now with schools reopening. Human trafficking is a serious issue that affects many communities across the country, and children need to be made aware of it.
"The challenge is that a lot of children go unsupervised, and I'm not saying that this child was unsupervised, but we have a lot of children whose parents are at work during the day, and they don't have an after-care to go to. We also have children who come from dysfunctional families where the granny must take care of three or four children, and then the children are left to their own devices or they go to the parks or sports fields without supervision.
"Perpetrators unfortunately continue to lurk around, and they obviously do their own reconnaissance and can see what's happening in the area. They see the young girls walking to the shops, the young boys playing in the parks, so they choose their targets.
“If we see strangers in the community that we haven't seen before, people need to inform the neighbourhood watch. They need to put it in the WhatsApp groups when they spot people that they haven't seen before or people who are approaching children and asking children for information or pulling them towards their vehicles.
"Community members should do their best to try and identify these people, describe them, and circulate this information so that everyone is aware. Police also need to be sensitised around the issue as well," said Alexander.
Police spokesperson Colonel Andre Traut confirmed the incident and said the man is currently being detained at a medical facility, while being treated.
“The circumstances surrounding the assault (GBH) are being investigated.”