The scourge of human trafficking has reared its ugly head in Mzansi this month and protests have taken place across the country on Wednesday, as demonstrators launch a defence against these heinous crimes. With 30 established ‘kidnapping hotspots’ in this country, it’s no surprise that South Africans are gatvol with the situation.
In a statement issued on Wednesday ahead of the mass protests, SAPS has reassured the public that human trafficking remains a ‘priority case’ for them. They also shared some basic safety tips for concerned parents:
“Police in Gauteng will continue to give priority attention to genuine cases of human trafficking, kidnappings, as well as crimes committed against women, children, and other vulnerable persons.”
“Parents are urged to remain vigilant and prioritise the safety of their children at all times and to always be aware of the children’s whereabouts. Children should not be left unattended as this could create an opportunity for criminals. Members of the public are encouraged to report crime or suspicious activities by contacting their nearest police station.”SAPS statement
Although they are notoriously difficult cases to identify, the recent crime stats show that Gauteng is the most-active province in terms of human trafficking. Out of all 16 confirmed cases in 2019/20, 11 of them were traced to this province. Two were linked to the Northern Cape, whereas other investigations were carried out in KZN, Free State, and the Western Cape.
Robberies, sexual offences, and hijackings are the three biggest motivations when it comes to kidnapping. But human trafficking is shrouded in secrecy. Scenes like the ones witnessed in Florida, Gauteng earlier this month show just how quick and seamless an operation like this can go – making it extremely tough to apprehend these abhorrent criminals.
Over 3 000 kidnapping cases were reported to the police in 2019/20, with some regions experiencing a rise of more than 37.1% in this type of crime. Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal are home to the worst offenders, with Kempton Park topping the charts in acrimonious fashion. Tembisa and Inanda are also ‘hotspots’, with Randfontein and JHB Central completing the top five. Delft and Kraifontein represent the Western Cape on the list: