Children saved from possible human trafficking

2016-09-14 06:00
Kwazakhele residents who wanted to “to deal” with the woman were barred from coming in to the police station. Photo: NCEBA DLADLA

Kwazakhele residents who wanted to “to deal” with the woman were barred from coming in to the police station. Photo: NCEBA DLADLA

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MEMBERS of the South African Police Service (SAPS) saved a 31-year-old woman from a mob attack last Thursday.

The woman, who is believed to be from KwaMashu in Durban, was arrested by members of the community who recognised her face from a picture sent out on Facebook.

The picture showed a woman who had allegedly kidnapped three children at Tubani Street, Kwazakhele, the night before.

The children, aged eight, seven and five, were reported to the police as missing after the woman allegedly disappeared with them.

The distraught grandmother of the five-year-old, Mandisa Mdlulwa (51), said she had last seen them at about 5pm on Wednesday and had become worried when she could not trace them by about 9pm.

“I became so worried when I asked one child and she said she had last seen them going with a woman who spoke isiZulu. I quickly contacted the police,” she said.

The five-year-old’s mother, Amanda Mdlulwa, said she had felt sick when the police phoned her at work to say the three children, including her baby girl, had been reported as lost.

“I knew I had left them at home playing when I left for work. I was so distraught and dumbfounded,” said Amanda, who was at the police station until about 5am.

In the meantime, police had sent a message to alert all the Nelson Mandela Bay police stations and messages were sent through digital media, including Facebook.

Port Elizabeth police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said members of the public had noticed the woman, still with the children, on Thursday morning and cornered her. They claimed she had said she was taking them to Durban.

“Police have arrested a 31-year-old woman in connection with kidnapping of three children. The woman was saved from mob justice by members of the SAPS including the K9 Unit in New Brighton,” Beetge said.

The families of the three children thanked community members for their quick responses to the Facebook post and events leading to them finding their children unharmed.

“We want to thank members of the community for their working together to see to the arrest of the woman. As the Community Police Forum (CPF) we condemn the kidnapping of children and the whole of human-trafficking in the strongest possible terms. This includes the kidnapping and murder of seven-year old Sonia Payi recently,” said Kwazakhele CPF chairperson Mawethu Poni.

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