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Attempted Jo’burg Kidnapping – ways to keep children safe

Sep 16, 2020

Naseerah Nanabhai

16-09-2020

Shocking footage has emerged of an attempted child abduction in Florida, Johannesburg. The nightmare scenario depicts two women and a child seated outside at a restaurant table. When suddenly, they all turn around to look back at something out of the camera view. A few moments after they turned back to the table in front of them, an unknown man jumps over the railing and heads straight for the young child’s throat.

He attempts to pull the child but before he can do so another woman who was sitting directly across from the jumped across the table to protect the child. Another man, who is assumed to have been a customer, rushed over and grabbed the man. A fight ensued but security eventually managed to detain the suspect. The incident took place on Thursday, 10th September.

The man has been charged with assault, with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, attempted kidnapping, and common assault. He appeared in the Roodepoort Magistrate Court on Monday. The 24-year-old was believed to have no connection with the child or family.

Kidnapping is a growing trend, with statistics revealing that every five hours a child goes missing in South Africa. According to Missing Children South Africa, 23 per cent of the children being either never found, trafficked, or found deceased.

Tips to keep children safe include:

  • Please ensure you know where your children are always and vice versa.
  • Make sure your children know not to listen or talk to any strangers that approach them in a mall, restaurant, or public area.
  • Make sure your children know where you are seated before letting them go to the play area.
  • Always keep an eye out for strangers loitering nearby.
  • Your kids should always know what they should do and where they should meet you if they are lost in a public area. This will help even if you do not have cellphone reception.
  • Unfortunately, when children are unsure of their situation, they tend to keep quiet and follow instruction, especially when talking to adults. Let them know it is okay to shout or scream for mom/dad if they are pulled anywhere / told to follow or anything suspicious.

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