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Intervention plans in place to tackle kidnapping, abduction, missing person cases

“A person may be reported missing following a crime that may have been committed like murder, kidnapping, abduction or the missing person may have just simply run away from home.”

Police have reportedly put intervention plans in place to tackle kidnapping, abduction and missing person cases both before and/or after they occurred.

“The SAPS, with other government departments, have put both proactive and reactive interventions in place to decisively deal with such cases,” national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole said in a statement.

He added these crimes were committed under the different circumstance and with different motives.

He highlighted the “seriousness” of which human trafficking and other closely related crimes were being dealt with by the Hawks.

“Even though human trafficking is not prevalent in South Africa as it is in other parts of the world, we must adopt a collective approach ensuring that not a single man, woman or child becomes a victim of this crime,” he said.

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Sitole said they had received “sporadic” reports of young people, particularly females, allegedly being lured away from their homes on the promise of lucrative jobs “only to find themselves being trafficked for sex”.

He also elaborated on the cases of missing people, whether related to crime or them having run away from home.

“A person may be reported missing following a crime that may have been committed like murder, kidnapping, abduction or the missing person may have just simply run away from home,” he explained.

However Sitole said, regardless of the circumstances, it had to be reported to the police immediately as there was no waiting period.

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“A person is deemed kidnapped if such a person is removed against his or her consent and deprived of his or her freedom of movement for ransom,” he said.

“A person is deemed as being kidnapped if they were removed from the custody of their parents for the purpose of marriage or sexual intercourse.”

This follows after the robbery, kidnapping and subsequent killing of a woman in the north of Pretoria at the weekend.

Martha Mhangi and her husband were understood to have stopped on the side of the R80 Mabopane highway when they were approached by an unknown number of men who robbed them, tied her husband up and kidnapped her.

Her body was found the following day by police with a gunshot wound to the left side of her head and with her underwear missing.

Last week, a video showing a man allegedly attempting to grab a four-year-old girl at a pizza shop in Florida, Johannesburg while with her mother went viral on social media.

Sitole said it served as a “stark reminder” of the reality of such crimes.

“While the suspect was charged with assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, this was not a case of human trafficking. This has been a reminder to both the authorities, as well as every inhabitant of this country, of the level of vigilance we need to employ to ensure that people feel and are safe,” he said.

“If such a person is under the age of 16 then the act of sexual intercourse would constitute rape,” Sitole said.

He said that the seriousness of which the crimes were attended to was highlighted by the specialised unit which was investigating – the Hawks or the Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit.

Sitole further appealed to anyone who have information about the crime categories, particularly before they were committed, to contact the police on their Crime Stop number on 08600-10111 or send the information through on the MySAPS app.

“All information will be treated with the strictest confidence and callers may remain anonymous.”

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