In a recent development, Grace Gumbo (26) and Mercy Tsoko (28), both hailing from Zimbabwe, appeared for the second time at the Kriel Magistrates’ Court in Nelspruit, facing charges related to child abduction and violating South Africa’s Immigration Act.
The accused allegedly pretended to be caregivers, manipulating community members and snatching children from their parents in the region.
The Kriel police took swift action after a four-month-old baby girl was reported missing from Thubelihle in Kriel. Acting on a tip about the presence of Gumbo and Tsoko in Ogies, the police promptly apprehended the suspects, rescuing the abducted infant unharmed. During the operation, they uncovered two more children – an eight-month-old infant girl and a three-year-old boy.
The arrest unfolded in a shack in Ogies, where not only the four-month-old girl but also a three-year-old boy and an eight-month-old girl were found. Investigators suspect that the duo abducted the three-year-old boy in Marble Hall in April 2023 and the eight-month-old girl in Springs in September 2023.
As the investigation unfolds, there are suspicions of potential broader offenses committed by Gumbo and Tsoko. Police spokesperson Selvy Mohlala emphasized ongoing efforts, stating, “We are continuing with our investigation to find out whether they have not committed similar offences in other areas so that we can add more charges.”
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Authorities in Mpumalanga are reaching out to the public for assistance in locating the families of the eight-month-old girl and three-year-old boy. Parents who believe they may have lost their children are encouraged to contact the Kriel Police Station to aid in the ongoing investigation.
IN OTHER NEWS: Amazon Expands AI Presence in South Africa, Igniting Innovation
In a groundbreaking move, global tech giant Amazon has announced a significant expansion of its artificial intelligence (AI) operations in South Africa, marking a pivotal moment for the country’s tech landscape.
AI Hub in Johannesburg
Amazon’s decision to establish a dedicated AI hub in Johannesburg underscores the company’s commitment to fostering technological advancement in the region. The hub is set to become a focal point for AI research, development, and collaboration, bringing together local talent and experts from around the world.
Job Creation and Skills Development
The expansion is expected to generate a substantial number of job opportunities, addressing unemployment challenges and contributing to skills development in the AI sector. With a focus on training local talent, Amazon aims to empower South Africans to actively participate in the rapidly evolving field of artificial intelligence.
Partnerships with Local Universities
In a bid to nurture homegrown talent, Amazon is forging strategic partnerships with leading South African universities. These collaborations will facilitate knowledge exchange, research initiatives, and the development of AI-focused academic programs. The goal is to create a sustainable ecosystem that supports innovation and expertise in artificial intelligence.
AI Applications for South African Businesses
Amazon’s investment in AI in South Africa extends beyond its own operations, as the company is set to provide AI solutions tailored to meet the specific needs of local businesses. This move is expected to enhance efficiency, streamline processes, and drive innovation across various industries, from healthcare to finance.
Addressing Ethical Considerations
As AI technologies continue to evolve, Amazon acknowledges the importance of ethical considerations. The company has outlined a commitment to responsible AI practices, ensuring that the deployment of these technologies aligns with ethical standards and respects local values.
Government Support and Regulatory Framework
The South African government has expressed support for Amazon’s expansion into the AI sector, recognizing its potential to boost the country’s economic growth and technological capabilities. Discussions are underway to establish a regulatory framework that fosters innovation while safeguarding against potential risks associated with advanced AI systems.
Future Prospects and Global Impact
Amazon’s investment in AI in South Africa not only transforms the local tech landscape but also positions the country as a key player in the global AI arena. The ripple effects of this expansion are expected to be felt far beyond South Africa’s borders, influencing the trajectory of AI development on the continent and worldwide.
In summary, Amazon’s bold move to bolster its AI presence in South Africa marks a pivotal moment for the region, promising economic growth, skills development, and innovation that will undoubtedly shape the future of technology in the country and beyond.