KAYLA THOMAS AND LEAH REES
Following the student vigils and demonstrations around Hatfield Campus on 2 and 3 September, multiple reports of women being abducted around Hatfield were spread on social media and WhatsApp groups. The South African Police Service (SAPS) confirmed that no missing person cases had been reported to SAPS.
Voice notes and tweets were spread across social media platforms reporting that women had been “taken, kidnapped” from multiple locations in Hatfield and that there were videos of such abductions. No videos had been circulated or reported to the police. The social media reports were also sharing vehicle registration numbers as warnings but these were unverified claims and the vehicles involved had not been reported to SAPS.
On 4 September Brooklyn SAPS Captain, Colette Weilbach, confirmed to PDBY that no cases had been opened or reported to SAPS regarding the multiple claims on social media. Sunnyside SAPS Captain, Daniel Mavimbela, confirmed the same at Sunnyside Police Station. A media statement was then released by Captain Weilbach that further explained that the reports on social media were “unverified” and could “cause panic and alarm amongst the public”. SAPS urge students to report any suspected abductions to the police as soon as possible as investigations into such incidents are only possible once a case docket is opened.
There is no waiting time to report a missing person. Be vigilant and alert and report emergencies to toll-free 112 or 10111. Incidents can also be reported to Brooklyn Police Station as 012 366 1700.