Fake kidnapping video sends police on wild goose chase

Fake social media posts about kidnappings and other crimes give police the runaround.
Fake social media posts about kidnappings and other crimes give police the runaround.
Image: CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP

Police are forced to sift through fake news and real crimes when it comes to cracking down on cases of kidnapping and human trafficking.

On Wednesday, Brig Sabata Mokgwabone said police went on a wild goose chase after being informed of a video which went viral on social media. The video apparently  depicted a kidnapping ordeal which was claimed to have taken place in Klerksdorp in  North West.

“Preliminary investigation conducted after police management in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District became aware of the video showed that no such incident was reported in Klerksdorp. Furthermore, it is also apparent the video was staged to cause fear among members of the public," said Mokgwabone.

“In addition, voice notes with false and unsubstantiated information were over the weekend shared on social media platforms about alleged kidnapping incidents for human trafficking purposes. However, it turned out no cases were reported the police in Mmabatho or Mahikeng, where the purported incidents took place,” he said.

North West police commissioner Lt-Gen Sello Kwena called on people to verify information shared on social media before spreading it via their own networks. Kwena said these should always be verified with police.

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