Cabinet is pleading with parents and caregivers to keep an eye on their children following recent sporadic cases of child kidnappings across the country.
On Thursday, Minister in The Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, said Cabinet was concerned about these abductions.
He was briefing the media on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday.
The kidnapping of the Moti brothers in Polokwane who went missing for over three weeks recently made headlines.
Zia, 15, Zayyad, 11, Alaan, 13, and Zidan, seven, were on their way to the school when seven armed men blocked the vehicle the boys were travelling in and kidnapped them.
The boys have since been reunited with their parents.
“During the upcoming festive season, parents and caregivers must be extra vigilant regarding the safety and whereabouts of children in their care,” the Minister said.
Police Minister Bheki Cele, who released the crime statistics for the period 1 July to 30 September 2021 last week, revealed that 2 000 kidnapping cases were recorded during this period.
Cele said the majority of the kidnappings reported were hijacking related, followed by kidnappings, which were robbery and rape-related.
SAnews reported that of a sample of 620 cases, 52 kidnapping cases were ransom related and most occurred in Gauteng, while seven kidnappings were because of human trafficking.
He has also called on parents to discuss general safety precautions with children in their care, including COVID-19 risks and protocols.
“We also urge parents and caregivers to consider which activities their children, especially the youth, can safely participate in.”
Meanwhile, he warned that events such as matric rage parties and matric dance after-parties are potential COVID-19 super spreaders.
“Large gatherings, especially those that involve the consumption of alcohol, are a major risk and undermine our efforts to contain the spread of the virus.” – SAnews.gov.za