Year-on-year decrease in conviction of kidnappers a threat to safety
On 13 September 2019, the Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, received a written question from Member of Provincial Legislature, Mireille Wenger, on the number of kidnappings recorded, which included children. Minister Fritz then enquired from the SAPS on the number of related arrests and convictions.
Minister Fritz has condemned the alarmingly low number of convictions related to kidnappings, which are also decreasing on year-year bases, in the province.
Minister Fritz said, “The South African Police Service informed me that in 2015/16 there were 767 kidnapping cases, 471 arrests and 80 convictions. In 2016/17, there were 616 cases, 366 arrests and 44 convictions. In 2017/18, there were 662 cases, 400 arrests and 36 convictions. In 2018/19, there were 681 cases, 402 arrests and only 12 convictions. No data was available for the 2019/20 year.”
“While the number of convictions is shockingly low relative to the number of cases and arrests, we are further seeing a year-on-year decrease in the number of convictions. This is a threat to the security of residents in the province as the guilty are seemingly free to walk amongst the innocent and vulnerable,” said Minister Fritz.
The Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez said, “The amount of cases related to child abductions is enough to disturb any-parent and non-parent alike, and while it does happen in the blink of an eye, we urge all our residents across the province to be extra vigilant around ensuring the safety of their children.”
Should you suspect any incidences of child abuse and/or child abductions, you may also report it by contacting:
- Western Cape Department of Social Development: 0800 220 250
- Email: SD.CustomerCare@westerncape.gov.za
- Police: 10111
- Childline: 0861 322 322
- National Human Trafficking Hotline: 0800 222 777
- Child Welfare SA: 0861 424 453
Minister Fritz added, “The Western Cape currently has 15 hostage crises and negotiating teams with 47 trained hostage negotiators spread throughout the province who work tirelessly to bring individuals home. Theirs is important work which should not be undermined by low conviction rates.”
Attention broadcasters, please see English audio clip attached.