So called “e-mail hoax” about almost kidnapping of a 2-year old apparently not a hoax after all (please also read last night’s post)

Januarie 28, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

After posting the warning by e-blockwatch on my blog last night, I was astounded by another blogger’s almost aggressive reaction to the post. He insisted it was a scam, even after I explained (in my post and in my comment to him) that I have phoned Andre Snyman, chairman of e-blockwatch, before posting to verify that the almost kidnapping of a 2-year old did in fact take place.

Allow me to just explain a few things about e-blockwatch:

  • It is a volunteer’s organisation formed by Andre Snyman, a (relatively wealthy) businessman from Johannesburg. I think it’s fair to say that Andre is spending more of his own money on this network than I would have been willing to do.
  • Andre doesn’t get a salary to run this. The only salaries paid are for their webmaster and techies (programmers). The cellphone companies must of course also be paid for the “panic button on your phone”, an e-blockwatch initiative.
  • Members countrywide (at this stage 63 000) report crime, suspicious activities etc to the e-blockwatch network via e-mail or SMS
  • E-blockwatch ACTIVELY participated in the search for Leigh Matthews, and later, her killer, using their knowledge of cellphone technology. They were also some of the first people searching for Sheldean Human after her aunt contacted Andre to say that the local police didn’t seem to take the missing child seriously. Andre alerted members in that part of Pretoria, who helped search for her on fourwheelers and on foot. (That is also verifiable – google the first newspaper reports. E-blockwatch also had daily updates on the search on their website.) I happen to know (through my work as journalist) Supt. Andre Neethling who was in charge of the Sheldean-search. He and other policeman shares information with e-blockwatch if need be. Why would they do that if e-blockwath and spesifically Andre is not to be trusted?
  • ONLY E-BLOCKWATCH MEMBERS, of which I am a proud one, can access their websites “incident reports” and “incident maps” for the simple reason that if it was open for Jan Alleman, the crooks could also see what’s going on where, and what that community is doing to solve the crime. (I was in fact on the website AS WELL last night to verify the “hoax”, plus I spoke to Andre on the phone before posting it)

So:

  • Andre has NO COMPANY that he can advertise by spreading news like this. In fact, he has a tyre business, if I remember correctly from my interview with him.
  • He is a man of integrity that CHECK THINGS OUT before he reports it to the network.
  • He has been the victim of hoaxes before, and therefore really takes extra special care to verify sources. Remember the “dominee” from Pretoria-North disappearing a few years ago? Andre sent out thousands of SMS’s (at that stage it worked mostly through SMS’s) to help find the dominee. He had to pay for those, and SMS’s cost money, as we know. And where was the “hijacked” dominee? Gambling away at a casino. (And you can google this it was in the newspapers about 7 years ago).

For the sceptics still not taking the hoax seriously, have a look at the picture of the wound on the woman’s arm on e-blockwatch’s facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/eblockwatch?ref=name#/photo.php?pid=3857223&id=546501936

This Andre’s response on the e-blockwatch member’s only page:

“Normally when we receive emails like the one above we delete them as they sound like junk mail. Normally the emails say it happened to a friend of a friend. This one is different. We found the source. I believe it will be in the Beeld tomorrow and the Huisgenot also wants the story.”

 

And Beeld also has the story AND a picture on the frontpage. I’d say they are also fairly used to hoaxes, and would also check out a source before publishing this, especially on the front page. Read here: http://www.beeld.com/Content/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/1928/65223cdda848468088884a9441000f9f/28-01-2010-12-26/Ma_vasgebind,_baba_byna_ontvoer

My fellow blogger disputes the fact that anybody would want to steal a little 2-year old boy, and says “normally girls of 13/14 are kidnapped”.

That is, I’m sorry to say, pure daydreaming. Children of ANY AGE and ANY GENDER and ANY RACE are victims of human trafficking, kidnappings and other crimes. Why?

Because paedophiles and other sexual deviants and monsters constantly need victims for themselves or to film child pornography with.

Or because some witchdoctor decided he needed a child for mixing muti.

Or because of rites by certain “religions” – I use the term “religion” very loosely – in which children are sacrificied.

Or because some insane woman decides she wants to be a mother, and doesn’t want to wait to get her own, and steals (or order the stealing of) somebody elses child, often babies and toddlers.

Or because somebody is jealous of somebody else, and know that by stealing/kidnapping their child, it will hurt their “enemy”.

Remember the 2008/2009 case in Cape Town where a jealous lover (a white woman) paid two men to kill her lover’s baby with another woman (from a previous relationship)?

Or because somebody wants a bit of cash, and kidnaps a child for the ransome.

I’m over-simplifying this whole issue, but it seems some people don’t want to face the reality that their are monsters out there that will not stop at hurting others, not even if they are small children.

You don’t have to take this or any other warning about this sort of thing seriously, but the bottomline is that human trafficking is alive and well,  and that we should take EXTRA special care of our children (and our neighbour’s children, for that matter) especially in a country preparing for an international event of the magnitude of the World Cup. Not only soccerfans will be visiting…

8 antwoorde op So called “e-mail hoax” about almost kidnapping of a 2-year old apparently not a hoax after all (please also read last night’s post)

  1. Dankie Sonel! Lekker dag vir jou ook. En dankie vir die gereelde besoeke!

  2. Yep, Madmom, I have great trust in Andre’s integrity. He is the kind of man that I don’t even know that well (only through work) but he said to me to let him know personally on his cellphone if I’m ever in trouble. I went on a date 18 months ago, and as I didn’t know the guy that long and went to his house for dinner, I phoned Andre and asked him to please phone me at a certain time to see if I’m okay, and that I will send him an SMS to say that I’m safely home. True as Bob, Andre phoned me on my cell at the time arranged to check on my safety. How’s that for somebody one can depend on?

  3. I got an e-mail in December for World Human Trafficking Awareness Day (Or something like that) and the figure that stood out for me was an estimate that during the World Cup later this year, approximately 100 000 people will be victims of human trafficking, either being kidnapped during that time, or being sold as prostitutes etc and working during that time. The annual average for last year was something like 2 million! This is going on all the time, and we need to be aware and vigilant. You can never be over-careful.

  4. This is terrible! Thank you for giving us extra background on Andre. He sounds like an absolute saint if you ask me.

  5. Thanks Crazy, I plan to post more on human trafficking. It is really alive and well and a thriving industry, whether we want to know it or not.

  6. Journo, Andre’s community work against crime is a great subject for an article. Space me if you want his contact details and some background.

  7. Ja nee, I was more than puzzled. It almost felt like a personal attack. Shooting the messenger, kind of. Thanks for the visit!

  8. Hi Tannemys…most definately! Thanks for thinking of me.

    P.S. Can’t believe Carl could think (from your latest post) that Beeld is being racist. What a load of hogwash!

Laat 'n Antwoord

Jou e-posadres sal nie gepubliseer word nie. Vereiste velde word aangedui as *.