Police say the incident during which a young child was grabbed by a stranger at a restaurant in broad daylight last week is not a case of human trafficking.
However, South Africa should be more prepared to prevent any citizen from becoming a victim of human trafficking, says Brig. Vish Naidoo, national police spokesman.
Naseem Slamang (24) is facing charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, attempted kidnapping and general assault after he allegedly grabbed a girl last Thursday at a restaurant in Florida on the Gauteng West Rand.
The video of the incident, which has since spread like wildfire on social media, shows two women and a girl – apparently a mother, her child and a friend – sitting at a table in the restaurant. The man then storms closer, jumps over ŉ low railing and grabs the child by the neck.
Dishal Sooku, owner of the restaurant, then intervened to bring the man under control after which the man was later arrested.
In another video that was widely circulated after the incident, Slamang is lying on the floor after being caught and tells bystanders that he works for a syndicate that kidnaps children.
“Although human trafficking is not as frequent in South Africa as in other parts of the world, we must take a collective approach to ensure that no one person, man, woman or child, becomes a victim of this crime.” says Naidoo now.
He does admit that the police are aware of young people, especially women, who were allegedly lured away from their homes in South Africa with the promise of lucrative work only to be abducted later for sex trafficking.
Cases of kidnapping and missing persons are a source of concern for the South African Police Service (SAPS). The SAPS, together with other government departments, has instituted proactive as well as reactive interventions to deal with such matters purposefully. Each of these crimes is committed under different circumstances and with different motivations. ”
Naidoo further says persons may be reported missing after a crime such as murder and kidnapping or after the person may have run away from home. “In any case, it must be reported to the police immediately and there is no waiting period for this.
“A person is considered a kidnapper if a person is removed without his or her consent and deprived of his or her freedom for a ransom. A person is [also] considered abducted if the person is removed from the custody of his or her parents for the purpose of marriage or sexual intercourse. ”
Naidoo appeals to the public to report any possible incidents of kidnapping or human trafficking, preferably before these crimes are committed, to the police’s crime hotline 086 00 10111.