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 'Keep children safe'

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PosOnderwerp: 'Keep children safe'   Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:17 pm

'Keep children safe'
by Maryke
2010-02-11 15:30

Dear Editor,

I was reading Granny stops kidnapper with absolute shock. As a parent of a two-year-old, blue eyed little boy, I cannot even imagine what the parents and granny must be feeling now. Thank God, this child managed to escape through her grandmother's willpower to hold on - literally.

What scares me most is this is not the first incident reported in a good neighbourhood where people are trying to snatch children. Recently I read in Beeld, an article of a similar incident that occurred in Johannesburg, where the kidnapper tried to "steal" a two-year-old boy.

Are we now moving into the same scenario as Mexico, Brazil etc where woman and children from affluent neighbourhoods are targets of kidnappers? In Mexico, if you're a wealthy family, it's normal for your wife and children to travel with a convoy of bodyguards, unfortunately, here in SA, families in good decent neighbourhoods, are not always in the financial state to actually afford such services.

I'm a mother and I live in a decent upper middle class neighbourhood. I don't feel safe in my home due to crime and now, going for a walk in the park or down the street during broad daylight with your child is also a risk. If any person targets my son for ransom, I'm ashamed to say that I will not have the financial resources to dock up R100 000 in a moment's notice to payoff.

It scares me, that there is not a lot of movement from the SAPS on this subject either… I assume this kidnapping is for ransom, but considering the World Cup coming to our country and the risk of Human Trafficking of children, makes me terrified. I’m worried about children who live in areas that are not as secure.

I've heard stories of cars spotted near schools, taking pictures of children! I've heard of incidents where children are being photographed in their gardens, playing outside. THIS IS TERRIFYING! What is government doing about this? Closing schools for a month, making kids even more vulnerable during the World Cup is only feeding the situation, and I feel that we should see more alerts and notices focussing on this risk from government.

I get the feeling that the government is more focused on spinning this World Cup into a positive at all costs, and yes, I agree, there is a lot of positives, but is it going to be at the cost of the citizens. Our country is already vulnerable, and more so our children. Are we really ready for this?

Maryke
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