Watch your childrens' internet use - Mahlobo

Cape Town - State Security Minister David Mahlobo urged parents to keep an eye on what their children were doing on the internet and social media.

“Have an interest. What is your child doing?” Mahlobo said while answering questions on cybercrime in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday.

He was responding to a question from EFF NCOP member Leigh-Ann Mathys on what the government was doing to protect children on social media.

“You have a responsibility to know, even on this platform, what are your children up to,” said Mahlobo.

He said older people needed to be “conscientised” on the risks because there were people sending money to people they did not know.

The risks to children went as far as being recruited by terrorist organisations. This was a reference to a 15-year-old girl who was stopped from leaving the country to join the Islamic State last year.

“They arrange everything [online] and you wake up one day and your child is missing. The terrorist organisations don't have to put a foot in this country,” Mahlobo said.

When the girl's attempt to leave surfaced last year, the principal of her school, who cannot be named to protect her identity, said there had been nothing strange about her behaviour that would have given them clues.

“There is obviously shock and major surprise. The fact that we know her and it's being reported in the media adds to that element of shock, and just a sense of reflection, should we have seen this” the principal said at the time.

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