The South African Police Service (Saps) has warned the public against reporting false cases after a Gauteng man was recently arrested and charged with perjury for falsely claiming that his nephew had been kidnapped.
According to a statement issued by Saps at the weekend, a 23-year-old man reported that he was driving with his five-year-old nephew when four unknown men stopped them, threatened him with firearms to get out of the car before fleeing with the child on Saturday, 20 November 2021.
In the statement, Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Ellias Mawela condemned the incident.
This was after resources were “mobilised” to track the alleged hijackers in order to save the life of the child.
“Upon further questioning, It was established that the man had lied and the alleged hijacked vehicle was parked at his home and the child was also safe. He was arrested and charged with perjury.”
Lieutenant General Mawela further lambasted the man’s behaviour as “irresponsible and reckless.”
Perjury is defined as the offence of wilfully telling an untruth or making a misrepresentation under oath. When one opens a case with the police, they do so under oath that the claims made in their case are truthful.
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“Children are kidnapped at times and we are obliged to immediately investigate. A false report puts a lot of strain on police resources which could have been directed to real incidents of crime and to victims who genuinely need police assistance,” he said.
The incident comes shortly after the kidnapping and mysterious release of the Moti brothers.
According to a news report, the Moti family paid R50 million in cash for the safe return of their four kidnapped sons, a claim which the family has denied.
News24 has reported on the ransom after allegedly speaking to three sources with knowledge of the investigation. According to their report, the Moti brothers – Zia, 15, Zayyad, 11, Alaan, 13, and Zidan, 7 – were returned soon after the money was handed over.
A police source told the publication that a dead drop was used to hand over the money. A dead drop is when an item, in this instance the bag of cash, is left at a specified spot and later collected by the kidnappers.
Keshia Patchiappen, the spokesperson for the Moti family, however, denies that a ransom was paid.
Compiled by Kaunda Selisho