Police in Gauteng have condemned fake social media posts claiming that schools are being burnt and the kidnapping of school children in Katlehong, labelling it as incitement.
“There is currently news on social media purporting that 17 children from Lungisani Primary School in Katlehong have been abducted by foreign nationals. Police can confirm that this is absolutely untrue and that this and other similar stories and visuals on social media only seek to perpetuate intolerance among residents, to instil fear and to stir up further violence,” said Brigadier Mathapelo Peters on Wednesday.
She said the circulation of the mischievous fake news on social media only seeks to advance criminality.
The police urged social media users to utilise the SAPS social media platforms and website to get factual updates or to verify certain information.
“In the meantime, police have heightened visibility in this area and in other areas of the province and will remain on high alert until stability is restored,” said Peters.
The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has also called on Gauteng parents not to panic in the midst of the unrest that is currently taking place in various areas in the province.
“We would like to appeal to parents to remain calm and urge the community to refrain from disrupting teaching and learning. We believe that with the ongoing criminal activities, our schools are a safer and conducive environment for learners than roaming in the streets” said Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
Lesufi reiterates that no school was burned today.
The GDE said it has information that parts of Ekurhuleni, particularly schools in Katlehong, have been affected by looting which resulted in parents panicking as a result of a false alarm that learners are being kidnapped from schools.
“We have also received a report that a learner was hit and injured by a gate at Nqubela Primary School this morning, he was rushed to the hospital by the Principal,” said the MEC.
As a result of increased deployments to cover all the areas identified as hot spots of violence that has seen several shops being looted and burnt, the number of people arrested since Sunday has increased to 289.
“A total of 289 arrests have been effected since Sunday for criminal acts including public violence, malicious damage to property and theft. Five murders have also been reported, two in Corronationville, two in Hillbrow and one near the hostel at Jeppe,” said provincial spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini in a statement.