The South African Police Service has again urged members of the public not to share bogus information about “kidnappings”.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone, this followed a video that went viral on social media platforms, particularly on WhatsApp, about an alleged kidnapping in Klerksdorp, North West.
“Preliminary investigations conducted after police management in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District became aware of the video, showed that no such incident was reported in Klerksdorp,” Mokgwabone said.
“It is also apparent that the video was staged to cause fear among members of the public. In the same breath, voice notes with false and unsubstantiated information were over the weekend shared on social media platforms about the alleged kidnapping incidents for human trafficking purposes. However, it turned out that no cases were reported to the police either in Mmabatho or Mahikeng, where the purported incidents took place.”
North West police commissioner Lieutenant General Sello Kwena has asked that people verify the legitimacy of crime-related videos and voice notes with the police before forwarding it.
Last week, police in Gauteng also urged the public to stop spreading fake news and bogus messages about human trafficking and the kidnapping of women and children.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said police in Gauteng were deeply concerned about the continued peddling of fake news and cautioned the public against the “incessant promotion and distribution of such malicious untruths”.
This came after two fake videos of “kidnappings” were widely distributed on social media.
Police investigations ultimately found these allegations to be false.