16 November 2020
Replies to my parliamentary questions reveal that 696 children have been kidnapped in the Western Cape over the last five years. This represents roughly 20% of all kidnapping victims in our province. The Democratic Alliance therefore welcomes the undertaking by the Western Cape Department of Community Safety to prioritise the monitoring of child kidnappings through the Court Watching Brief Programme.
Between 2015 and 2019, 696 children were kidnapped in our province. 3482 people were kidnapped during this time, which means that children represent 20% of all kidnap victims. The number of child kidnappings has remained relatively stable year on year, however we would want to see a decreasing trend instead. This is why I have been using oversight mechanisms to monitor the number of child kidnappings in our province over the last 5 years.
We will continue to monitor these crimes to ensure that efforts have impact, and that we can save as many children as possible from this awful fate.
The trauma and devastation that this particularly cruel crime causes, needs active attention from authorities. It is therefore encouraging that the Western Cape Departments of Community Safety, Social Development and the province’s Children’s Commissioner are teaming up to develop a tracking tool to ensure that these crimes are properly prosecuted by the criminal justice system.