The 11-year-old schoolgirl who was kidnapped outside a Johannesburg school at gunpoint earlier this week is still missing on Friday evening.
THE PUBLIC URGED TO COME FORWARD WITH ANY INFORMATION
The Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona confirmed this on Friday evening.
“We call upon the public to come forward with any information they may have to assist ongoing investigations,” he said.
Mabona furthermore said it was decided in a meeting on Friday that all screening and scanning procedures must be done inside the school premises with immediate effect.
POLICE REMAIN TIGHT-LIPPED
While police have been tight-lipped about the recent kidnapping, the following information from the scene has become available. Here is the latest information available on the kidnapping.
HERE IS THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE:
The schoolgirl is reportedly the daughter of wealthy foreign nationals who own a hotel and several other businesses in the area.
There is confusion about the age of the girl, Local Councillor Rickey Nair told the media the girl is nine years old, but the education department has her age as 11.
The kidnapping happened at around 7:11 on Wednesday morning, outside the E.P. Baumann Primary School.
Three men, reportedly armed with AK47 rifles, took the schoolgirl at gunpoint.
Nair told the media that the kidnappers knew their target and called the schoolgirl by her name.
Their getaway vehicle has been described as a silver/white Toyota Yaris.
The number plate of the Toyota Yaris is JS 62 CS GP.
WHAT THE SCHOOL HAD TO SAY:
The E.P. Baumann Primary School said in a statement on Wednesday that the kidnapping was an isolated and targeted incident.
“Regarding the incident that took place outside the school earlier this morning, it was an isolated and targeted incident,” it said.
In an attempt to calm the nerves, the school said the principal and all the educators and staff members have all the learners safely on the school premises.
According to media reports, concerned parents gathered outside the school on Wednesday after the news of the kidnapping broke.
Some parents told the media they wanted to collect their children, but the school would not let them.
The school said officials from the districts and the police, including security personnel and the CPF monitored the situation at the school on Wednesday.
‘SAFETY AND SECURITY A PRIORITY’
It furthermore said the safety and emotional security of the learners are their priority.
The school provided debriefing and counseling services to both learners and the staff members.
“We urge and appeal to parents and guardians to not under any circumstances cause or create any undue panic and speculate on the incident as we are fully aware of the sensitivity of the situation and at the same time understand the emotional instability and trauma.
“Our sincere prayers and support are for the family of the abducted learner. Please continue to pray for the well-being and safety of the abducted learner and family,” the school said.