Metro cop suspended over claims foreign nationals were kidnapping school kids

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(Duncan Alfreds, News24)
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

An Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department officer who was recorded on video claiming that "Pakistani" men were kidnapping children in Katlehong has been suspended, the City confirmed to News24 on Friday.

"The officer is currently suspended and an investigation into the incident is currently underway, and the officer will be provided an opportunity to explain herself during her disciplinary hearing," Mayor Mzwandile Masina's spokesperson Phakamile Mbengashe said.

Mbengashe said the officer, who has not been named, was suspended with full pay.

This comes after rumours were spread on Twitter that children were being abducted at schools around Katlehong due to a video by the said officer.

Sowetan reports that the officer - in the viral video - alleged that Pakistani nationals were abducting children from schools. She also informed parents that she was at her child’s school to fetch her.

Among those who had shared the rumours about alleged kidnappings at schools was senior African Transformation Movement member and former GCIS chief executive Mzwanele Manyi. 

Manyi tweeted: "Just got a frantic call from my relatives in Soweto that Pakistanis are abducting children at school. My blood is boiling." 

The tweet has since been deleted.

Rumours of foreign nationals driving around townships kidnapping children caused panic, with parents across Gauteng rushing to schools to fetch their kids.

It was also claimed schools were being attacked and set alight.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi dismissed the allegations as "fake news".

ALSO READ: Gauteng education department warns against false claims of kidnappings at schools

Masina tweeted on Wednesday that the matter was being investigated.

"FAKE NEWS ALERT: No schools are on fire in the @City_Ekurhuleni and there have been no reports of children being kidnapped. The Warden who is seen in the video that has gone viral is currently being investigated for misconduct!" he tweeted.

EMPD could not immediately provide News24 with comment.

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