Pupils warned of abduction, trafficking

Shariefa Job from Western Cape Missing Persons Unit Ursula Jason from a local retailer, pupils Mushfeeqah Domingo from Wesley Practising School, Lathitha Node from Cecil Road Primary and Winnie Juma from Dryden Street Primary and Brittany Gertze from a local retailer.

Salt River school girls were warned about the dangers of abduction and human trafficking last week.

Grade 7 girls from Wesley Practising School, Dryden Street Primary and Cecil Road Primary heard from the Western Cape Missing Persons Unit (WCMPU), at Community House on Thursday August 22, about just how easy it is to fall prey to predators.

The WCMPU is a non-profit organisation that was formed in 2017, after the gruesome death of Courtney Pieters, 3, of Elsies River.

The organisation works closely with police and law enforcement in trying to find missing persons in Cape Town.

WCMPU director, Candice van der Rheede, said too many young girls were naive about everyday threats to their safety.

“Most of the girls that run away from home or go missing are between the ages of 13 to 17. In most of those cases, they are teenagers that are not familiar with the law and don’t have awareness of children going missing,” she said.

Law enforcement officer, Dirk Jacobs, spoke about human trafficking and how girls could be forced into prostitution.

He warned the girls to always tell family and friends where they were going; never walk alone to school and be cautious about work ads.

Captain Ezra October, from Cape Town Central police, warned the girls about the dangers hidden in their smartphones. He said they should be careful who they spoke to on social media.”Your social media presence becomes your CV and it can be accessed by different types of people out there,” he said.

During the function, Spencer Road clinic introduced its new clinic manager, Xoliswa Kosani.

“It was a good welcome from the community and I had an opportunity to explain all the services that our clinic offers the community,” she said.

The girls were also given lunch and toiletry gifts and they took part in Zumba co-ordinated by instructor Shiyaam Rossie.