Dramatic spike in kidnappings across Eastern Cape

Issued by Bobby Stevenson, MPL
Shadow MEC for Community Safety

There has been a dramatic spike in kidnappings across the Eastern Cape, with cases rising over 20% year on year.

In light of this, I am appealing to the public to be extremely vigilant when it comes to their and others’ personal safety and am calling on SAPS to increase visible patrols in hotspot areas.

In the ten months between April 2021 and January 2022, there were 514 cases of successful kidnappings reported, up from 423 cases for the same period the year before.

Of these 514 cases, 146 kidnapping victims were assaulted and or tortured, while a further 60 victims were raped and four were murdered!

Shockingly, 66 children were among those kidnapped in the 2021/22 financial year, up from 61 cases the year before.

These figures were provided by Community Safety MEC, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe, in response to a parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance.

Download response.

What is extremely concerning is that Nelson Mandela Bay appears to have become a hotspot, with four of the top ten stations for kidnapping cases in the province located in the metro.

These four stations, namely Mount Road (1st), Motherwell (2nd), Kwazakele (3rd) and New Brighton (8th), make up 25% of the entire kidnapping cases for the province, for the ten months under review in the 2021/22 financial year.

Despite the rise in cases, there have only been 219 arrests made, and just 48 successful prosecutions in the last financial year.

I will be raising this matter in the Provincial Legislature. We need improved prosecutions that will act as a deterrent, along with more high visibility patrolling in identified hotspot areas.

In Nelson Mandela Bay, the funds set aside in the adjustment budget for the upgrading of CCTV cameras need to be actioned as a matter of urgency, so that these criminals can be identified and brought to book.