Police Appeal for Responsible Use of Social Media After Fake Kidnapping Video Goes Viral

South Africans have been urged to think twice before sharing unconfirmed crime-related information on social media platforms, following a fake kidnapping video that spread fear.

The Provincial Commissioner of North West, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena urged members of the community to exercise caution, following a video that went viral on social media platforms, particularly on WhatsApp, about an alleged kidnapping incident in Klerksdorp.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) said that a preliminary investigation conducted in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District, after police became aware of the video, showed that no such incident was reported in Klerksdorp.

“Furthermore, it is also apparent that the video was staged to cause fear among members of the public,” said SAPS. “In the same breath, voice notes with false and unsubstantiated information were over the weekend shared on social media platforms about the alleged kidnapping incidents for human trafficking purposes. However, it turned out that no cases were reported the police either in Mmabatho or Mahikeng where the purported incidents took place.”