Boy, 3, safe after foiled sale

Date: 20 Feb 2019

Grandmother had tried to sell him for R2 000, according to social worker

A 3-YEAR-OLD CHILD whose grandmother allegedly attempted to sell him for R2 000 last week is safe, according to Verulam Child Welfare.

Social worker Susan Reddy said their office had just received the case.

“Right now he is safe and we are still investigating the matter,” she said.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said security officers caught a woman who was allegedly trying to sell her grandchild on Friday.

“We were told that the mother of the child arrived and her child was handed over to her. No case was opened,” said Zwane.

Security firm Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) said the child was handed back to the mother in the presence of social workers.

Rusa spokesperson Prem Balram said it was alleged that a 53-year-old woman walked into an electronic store on Moss Street and offered the child to two women at the counter.

Rikesh Roopan, the owner of the shop, said his wife and her sister were at the store, while he was next door at his other business when the woman came in and offered to sell them the child. “They were shocked and messaged me to come,” said Roopan, adding that he asked the woman numerous times if she was certain she wanted to sell the child. She said she did.”

He said he had an audio clip of the woman saying, ‘ja (yes), I want to sell him.’

“I asked her to go and get the birth certificate and a letter stating that she won’t come back to me and ask me about the child and she required R2 000 for the child,” Roopan said.

The businessman said he told the woman that he was gathering the money, but instead alerted the police.

“When we went to the police station, she said ‘no I was joking’ but it didn’t seem like a joke when I was speaking to her,” Roopan said.

He said it seemed like she needed the money.

Roopan added that the woman told him that both the mother and the father were nowhere to be found.

He said as people who like to help and are active in the community the whole incident was frustrating.

“It was a matter of life or death because if the child had gone into the wrong hands, someone would have taken that child,” Roopan said.

He said he had expected a case to be opened and after leaving the police station, he was later informed that the mother had come to collect the child.

By KAREN SINGH karen.singh@inl.co.za

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