Students on high alert of suspected sex-traffickers

BY TASH SINGH

Stellenbosch University (SU) students have been put on high alert, following run-ins with suspected sex-traffickers on the campus.

The group, who introduce themselves as the World Mission Society, supposedly are members of a church that wishes to inform you about God the Mother. 

Marion Webber (22), a history honours student at SU, says that after being approached by people offering to discuss God the Mother with her, she was asked if they could meet with her the following week.

Roxanne Mooneys, Chief Sub Editor of MatieMedia and journalism honours student at SU, says she encountered a similar occurrence.

“[They] approached [me] on the Rooiplein and asked me if I believe in God.

“They showed me four verses from the Bible and then they asked if they could take my number and if we could meet away from the Neelsie at some place less crowded.”

Another SU student, who wishes to remain anonymous, says that it’s usually a man and woman who approach you.

“They don’t tell you where their church is on campus, they will just say we will come pick you up. That’s when I noticed something was off. Almost all of them say the exact same thing.”

People have taken to social media, through anonymous posts, to warn Stellenbosch residents of the apparent ill-nature of the group.

“They introduce themselves and say they want to talk to you about God the Mother. Do not entertain it. They are a sex trafficking organisation.

“I felt like something was off in the way they approached me because after they were done explaining their mission, the woman was extremely adamant on getting my number and saying we should meet again privately to further the study.”

Dr Viljoen Van der Walt, head of campus security at the university, says that they are aware of the apparent issue.

“The group was first reported at Tygerberg Campus, approximately two years ago. On grounds of student complaints, their representatives were denied further access to the campus by security at the main entrance.

“At Stellenbosch, we were sensitized by a student about representatives of this group putting up posters in the Neelsie.”

Van der Walt urges anyone with information to come forward, or lodge an official complaint, so an official investigation can be opened.

Report any suspected cases of trafficking by contacting:

  • South African Police Services (SAPS) 10111,
  • Department of Social Development (DSD) Hotline on 0800 220 250
  • National Human Trafficking Resource Line on 0800 222 777 or 
  • Campus Security 021 808 4666​

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