SAPS appeals to public to stop spreading fake news

THE South African Police Service (SAPS) has appealed to the public to stop spreading fake news. This after a recent spike in circulation of video clips on various social-media networks that show children being kidnapped and abducted.

A video that shows a kidnapper attempting to abduct a pupil went viral on social-media platforms recently. However, the SAPS confirmed that the incident did not happen in South Africa.

In a statement sent to the media, Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said: “There is no evidence that suggests firstly, that these incidents happened in South Africa and secondly, that these incidents are actually legitimate.

“We are appealing to social-media users to act responsibly and verify information before posting and sharing, as such postings do nothing more than cause unnecessary panic and paranoia among our communities,” Naidoo said in the statement.

The SAPS assured the public that awareness campaigns and educational talks on the safety of their children are held at various institutions, including schools.

“An urgent appeal is made to people in instances where they suspect a crime may have been committed or anything suspicious has occurred to contact the police first to verify such information.

“In cases where children are involved, the Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) may be contacted as well as the sector manager of a particular area.

“Discuss your concerns and let us together make informed decisions before posting on social media,” Naidoo said in the statement.

Social work manager at Tongaat Child Welfare Society Jo Moodley said Tongaat Child and Family Welfare Society’s core function is to serve as a child protection agency and as such they pledge to take a firm stance against human trafficking.

“With the assistance of the other relevant authorities we will put into operation the new law that has been passed.”

The new law, the Preventing and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, aims at reducing and curbing the incidences of people trafficking in South Africa.

Non-profit organisation A21 has teamed up with government and local law enforcement to set up a National Human Trafficking Resource Line where any suspicious activities can be reported, or where victims can receive help. You can contact the resource line at 0800 222 777. Crime can also be reported via the SAPS Crime Stop number 08600 10111.

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