“None of the children were taken,” Vanguard Primary School principal Howard February said.
He has been inundated with calls since a WhatsApp message was circulated, claiming that two children had been kidnapped.
February explained that four children had been walking towards the school on Friday morning when the motorist stopped and started taking photographs of them.
“They panicked,” said February.
However, he said the children did exactly what he had repeatedly told them to do if they felt unsafe – they ran.
One boy ran straight to school and three other children ran to a nearby office and asked for help.
The scholar patrol supervisor on duty saw what happened and sprang into action to help, taking the registration number of the vehicle. Other parents helped to calm the distressed children.
The local police were also called in to assist.
The children’s carers were contacted and allowed to take the children home to recover.
“It was pandemonium”, said February, but he was relieved that everybody was safe.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut could not immediately confirm the incident.
Meanwhile, the South African Police Service has implored people not to spread unverified kidnapping or abduction claims on social media.
“We are appealing to social media users to act responsibly and verify information before posting or sharing, as such postings do nothing more than cause unnecessary panic and paranoia among our communities,” said national police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.
“…while the recent social media postings remain unconfirmed, it is a reality that children do go missing. Therefore, parents and guardians are urged to exercise vigilance at all times.”
In other news...
South Africa is in a very real battle. A political fight where terms such as truth and democracy can seem more of a suggestion as opposed to a necessity.
On one side of the battle are those openly willing to undermine the sovereignty of a democratic society, completely disregarding the weight and power of the oaths declared when they took office. If their mission was to decrease society’s trust in government - mission accomplished.
And on the other side are those who believe in the ethos of a country whose constitution was once declared the most progressive in the world. The hope that truth, justice and accountability in politics, business and society is not simply fairy tale dust sprinkled in great electoral speeches; but rather a cause that needs to be intentionally acted upon every day.
However, it would be an offensive oversight not to acknowledge that right there on the front lines, alongside whistleblowers and civil society, stand the journalists. Armed with only their determination to inform society and defend the truth, caught in the crossfire of shots fired from both sides.
If you believe in supporting the cause and the work of Daily Maverick then take your position on the battleground and sign up to Maverick Insider today.
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