Daily Voice readers say the so-called Facebook hoax about a syndicate snatching school children is true.
And at least one school has confirmed sightings of a blonde woman taking pictures of laaities on a blue tablet.
Hermanus Primary School principal Barry Cilliers confirmed to the Daily Voice that extra precautions were being taken after a parent reported that a stranger took photos of her daughter.
“We reported the matter to the community policing forum [CPF] and sent messages out to make parents and children aware of ‘stranger danger’,” says Cilliers.
In another alleged incident in nearby Stanford, people in a red car with black tinted windows were seen trying to take a child, and the same car was later spotted outside Babbel and Krabbel Hermanus Pre-Primary school.
Hermanus Pre-Primary reacted quickly on Facebook, saying no incidents have been reported to their office.
“[But] we have sharpened our safety precautions and keeping a close eye on surroundings (sic),” reads their post.
This week, the Daily Voice reported on posts about the alleged syndicate being shared on social media, and school sending warnings to parents to be more vigilant.
Several of the posts refer to a blonde white woman, driving a blue or green Nissan Micra, taking photos of children outside school.
In other posts, a suspicious minibus taxi was spotted parked outside a school.
It was also alleged that the syndicate was paying drug addicts “R2 000 per stolen child”.
However, the SA Police Service rubbished the claims, saying it was a hoax.
But Facebook users responding to the article online saying it really happened to them.
Tagging her friend Salma, Nicole wrote: “Surely it’s no ‘hoax’ after what you’ve experienced today?!”
Salma responded: “Yep my friend is so nervous now, she wanted to fetch her kid at school.”
Cyntha posted: “It’s really not a hoax, it’s true, blonde woman and black man.”
Nobody has ever provided a registration number or picture of the blonde woman or her car.
Police spokesperson Constable Noloyiso Rwexana also confirms that nothing was reported to SAPS in the Overberg.
“Hermanus, Gansbaai and Stanford SAPS have no record of such incidents,” says Rwexana.