Kidnap rumours go viral

Messages about syndicates targeting school children have gone viral on Facebook and WhatsApp, claiming that drug addicts were being offered R2 000 to kidnap children.

The latest message claims that two children were kidnapped from Blossom Street Primary School in Silvertown, but this has been dismissed as a hoax.

On Monday June 13, principal Michael Davids sent out a message to all the parents to allay their fears.

Athlone SAPS spokesperson Sergeant Zita Norman confirmed it was a hoax, adding that Mr Davids could account for every child registered at his school, as he did a roll call.

The SAPS sent out a message distancing itself from social media warnings about child smugglers offering drug addicts money to kidnap school children. It 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.”

* On Sunday June 12, Bishop Lavis police found the body of Moegammat Shabier, 22, from Valhalla Park, near the Netreg railway line. He was shot in the head.

Bishop Lavis SAPS spokesperson Captain Marie Louw said an eyewitness saw four men near the railway line and then heard shots.

“Two unknown men ran away. The fourth person, a 19-year-old, was taken to hospital and was shot three times – in his head, neck and shoulder. Murder and attempted murder cases were opened, and no arrests have been made yet. The possibility of it being a gang-related incident is being investigated,” Captain Louw said.

Anyone with information can contact Detective Constable Elsen Loggenstein at 021 935 9802/3/5.