There is a fine line between transparency over increasing kidnapping cases and revealing information that could be used by criminals, experts say.
Amnesty International South Africa’s executive director Shenilla Mohamed called for South African authorities to be transparent, while researcher at the Centre of Criminology at the University of Cape Town Dr Anine Kriegler warned that perpetrators could use police intelligence to further their plans.
Anticrime activist Yusuf Abramjee said the majority kidnappings were organised and researched.
“They know who you are, background and family. There are random kidnappings, too, but those are the smaller ones. The big ones are when families are prominent business people,” he said.
Meanwhile, the department of basic education was relieved about the safe return of two kidnapped Grade 10 pupils who were found on Thursday, the same day of the latest kidnapping, of an 11-year-old pupil of EP Bauman Primary School in Johannesburg.
The pupils, two girls aged 15 and 16, from Hoërskool Staatspresident CR Swart in Waverley, Pretoria, were walking to the local clinic in Mamelodi East on Tuesday afternoon when two unknown men in a Mini Cooper allegedly forced them into the vehicle and coerced them into taking drugs, said Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona.
Lizette Lancaster of the Institute for Security Studies said there were different types of kidnappings, many unreported and with motives sometimes difficult to gauge.
From 2011 to 2020 there has been a 133% increase in reported kidnappings, she said.