Alleged kidnapping 12 May

MARKO SVICEVIC AND POOJA PUNDIT

What seems to have been a domestic dispute in Hatfield, left students at UP fearing for their safety after a social media storm erupted spreading false information.
On 11 May around midnight, National Media Liaison of the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command, Naledi Chirwa tweeted, “A woman was abducted at gunpoint at McDonald’s Hatfield. Please call your sisters, friends, daughters who attend UP, live in the area.” A student who witnessed the altercation said, “around 19:30 in McDonald’s I saw people running for their lives,” adding that “you can see that they were running from something and it looked really serious, most of them were dressed in their pajamas”. Lindokuhle Segage, a BA Law student at UP confirmed that she had seen “a commotion” (near the Fields) with a group of girls in their pajamas.The eyewitness said that they had seen two men running, who were perceived to have “a weapon to use it on the large group of people, who ran for their lives”. Danie Basson, CID Chief Operation Officer confirmed it was “a domestic dispute with a third party involved. No cases opened. No kidnapping…”

According to a statement by TuksRes on social media, initial reports of the incident came from an individual saying a woman was abducted. “Following investigation by our Security Services department, this report is seen as negligent and inaccurate. This incident took place on the corner of Hilda and Burnett Streets (where McDonald’s is situated), and no firearms were used in this altercation. CCTV footage also confirms the above scenario. Therefore, this incident is seen as an isolated incident and has no connection with UP whatsoever.”

According to Resident Management and Student Life Manger Lanché van Tonder, UP confirmed that reports of the gunpoint incident at McDonald’s did not involve anyone associated with UP. Van Tonder said that while a tweet was posted indicating that a UP student was involved, UP Security Services found that no student was involved. “UP Security Services was able to confirm that a dispute between two individuals occurred on the corner of Hilda and Burnett Street on this evening, but that neither of them are affiliated or associated with the University of Pretoria,” added van Tonder.Brooklyn SAPS confirmed that as yet no cases had been opened.

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