Posts about syndicates targeting schoolchildren have gone viral on Facebook and WhatsApp, with claims that drug addicts were being offered R2 000 to kidnap children.
The South African Police Service (SAPS Official Page), however, has distanced itself from the flyers and messages that are circulating on social media.
A message from SAPS read: “We appeal to the community and the parents not to panic and take extra precautions when dealing with such false information. Those addicted to drugs can be referred to rehabilitation centres to get help. We also urge people to refrain from circulating false messages aimed at causing alarm and citing SAPS as the distributors of such. We also urge parents to take care of their children and know their whereabouts at all times.”
Mitchell’s Plain spokesperson Captain Ian Williams said the police station has no record of incidents such as those described in the social media postings.
“We want to urge you to please refrain from just randomly extracting articles from social media as these are often unfounded and result in wild goose chases. We need concrete information to follow up on leads,” he said.
* A total of 257 people were arrested in the Mitchell’s Plain police cluster for crimes including attempted murder and possession of firearms and drugs between Monday June 6 to Saturday June 11. The cluster includes Athlone, Grassy Park, Lansdowne, Lentegeur, Mitchell’s Plain, Philippi, Steenberg and Strandfontein police stations.
A total of 117 houses were searched for drugs during various operations and 15 tracing operations resulted in the arrests of 57 wanted persons. Among the drugs seized during the searches were 69.02g of heroin, 398.64g of tik, 409.52g of mandrax tablets and 1 059.32g of dagga.
There were 43 cases of crimes against women and children reported, which resulted in 20 arrests. Three people were also arrested for being in possession of firearms.
Around 6am on Thursday June 9, the Lentegeur Crime Prevention Unit arrested a 20-year-old man in Bluebell Street, Lentegeur, for being in possession of 71 mandrax tablets and 65 small bags of dagga. The drugs are valued at about R3 500.
A man, 30, was arrested for being in possession of a black Tanfoglio firearm with 16 live 9mm rounds while he was walking in Eisleben Road, Lentegeur at BP Clock Tower, on Tuesday June 7, at 1pm.
Both suspects are to appear in the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court.