SAPS have been urged to increase visibility in the Zonnebloem area, following reports of two separate incidents of abductions over the past two weeks. Learners are reportedly being targeted while travelling to and from school.
Reports indicate the perpetrators are drugging learners and abducting them, one reporting the involvement of a white van. While a case has been opened with the police, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) confirmed that the district social worker has issued communication to schools in the area.
The social worker visited both schools to investigate the reported incidents and provide support. Any incidents should be reported to SAPS immediately, as well as to the WCED Safe Schools Call centre 0800 45 46 47.
“This is a source of extreme concern. We have not had reports of this happening in any other area, but I would like to urge parents to exercise caution, and inform their children of the dangers of engaging with and of taking any food or beverage from strangers,” said WCED spokesperson Jessica Shelver.
“We will also place these cases on our Watching Brief system to monitor progress. These perpetrators must be found and charged.”
Shelver said the safety of learners is paramount. Schools in the Zonnebloem area and surrounds will be engaging with parents to raise awareness as well as educating learners about being extra vigilant when travelling to and from school as well as where possible, travelling in groups.
Learners, parents and teachers may call the Safe Schools Call Centre not only to report incidents and request support, but also for counselling and advice on 0800 45 46 47. VOC