Teachers thwart suspected abduction of Grade R child at Cape Town school

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Duncan Alfreds, News24
  • A woman allegedly tried to abduct a child from a Cape Town school by pretending to be the person allowed to fetch the child.  
  • Alert teachers at the primary school in Kuils River checked with her mother who was already on her way to school and found no permission had been granted.  
  • The woman is understood to have disappeared in the busyness of the after-school pick up and police are investigating. 

Western Cape police are investigating an alleged attempt at abducting a child after a woman tried to fetch a girl who is not hers at a primary school in Cape Town.

Police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said Kuils River Primary School had registered a complaint which the police were investigating.  

"This office can confirm that a primary school principal reported the incident of an attempted abduction of a learner that occurred on Thursday 17 September 2020," Van Wyk said.  

"An enquiry has been registered and the circumstances surrounding the incident are currently being investigated by Kuilsrivier [Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences] Unit."

Letter

In a letter to parents, the principal explained that the Grade R pupils had been waiting on a corner as usual to be fetched from school around 12:30.

A woman standing outside the school’s fence said she had come to fetch a child, but could only identify her by her first name when the teachers on duty wanted more information.  

When asked, the child told the teachers she did not know the woman. 

WATCH | Man wrestled to the ground as he tries to snatch child at Roodepoort restaurant 

The woman was on her cellphone during the incident.   

The teacher immediately phoned the child's mother to ask if she knew that somebody was coming to fetch her, but the mother said she hadn't and was already on her way to fetch her child herself.

The teachers kept an eye on all of the children while this was unfolding.

The woman disappeared in the busyness of the pick up and wasn’t present when the girl's mother arrived. 

"We are thankful for the teachers' proactive reaction and that the events did not have more serious consequences," said the school's principal in a letter posted on the school’s Facebook page.  

He reiterated the protocols for permission for fetching children and asked parents to tell their children in an age-appropriate way about possible dangers.  

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