59-year-old man accused of grooming 17-year-old girl

The young girl was allegedly manipulated to the point where she turned against her parents in court while testifying against the man.

With numerous reports of children being kidnapped on social media, the threat facing young children and teenagers is fast becoming a distressing reality.

According to police, many of the reports of kidnappings on social media are untrue. Parents must simply do everything in their power to protect their children.

ALSO READ: Springs SAPS warns about potential kidnappers

The CW6 community policing forum recently noticed a suspicious white bakkie lingering outside a primary school in the Vaal area, reports Vaal Weekblad.

After investigating, various photos of primary school learners allegedly taken by the driver of the vehicle were found. It appeared that the driver took the photos from behind the school’s fence.

On the Pink Ladies’ Facebook page, the disappearance of a 17-year-old girl from Meyerton is being widely circulated. She has been missing since September 6. A missing persons case was opened by her parents on September 7 with Meyerton police.

Three members of the Vaal Response Unit’s (VRU) Vereeniging branch, a community organisation dedicated to curbing crime in the Vaal area, immediately jumped on the case of the missing girl, and as a result a 59-year-old man believed to be involved in the disappearance of the girl was arrested in Calvinia. He appeared in court on September 14. He and the girl were reportedly on their way to the Cape.

The man can be seen getting into a white bakkie, presumably when he and the young girl were on their way to the Cape. Image: Supplied to Vaal Weekblad

VRU members Anke van der Schyff, Lorna Ferreira, and Matt Marshall followed various leads before the arrest. The girl opened a protection order against the man on May 31, which forbade him from making contact with her. Despite the order and the same girl’s disappearance, he was not convicted. This followed the girl contacting him after the ‘kidnapping’.

The two were spotted in a Bloemhof Spar by a resident on September 8. Photos and CCTV depicting the two in Spar was viewed, and they both appeared to be smiling. It was noted that the girl did not look scared. With help from contacts and police, they were later traced to Calvinia.

The girl returned home to her foster parents on September 12. The man was escorted to the Calvinia holding cells and was brought to the Vaal triangle in the same white bakkie he and the girl had been travelling in.

According to unconfirmed information, this is not the first time that the man has been caught with a minor. During Vaal Weekblad’s interview with the girl and her mother, the latter warned parents to know what their children were doing, where they were, and who they were friends with at all times.

“This man raped my child about three months ago, and we got an interdict against him to cease all contact with her. The man has a history and he groomed my little girl,” the mother explained.

“He manipulated her in such a way that she turned against us and took his side in court.”

Parents are warned that the possibility of grooming and kidnapping is a reality that occurs daily, and that rebellious teenagers have a tendency to go to extremes. Not all relationships such as this have the age gap as depicted in the recent incident, but parents must take charge and be aware of such toxic friendships and relationships.

This article was translated from Afrikaans by Nica Schreuder. 

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