A News Cafe franchise in Woodmead, Sandton, caught a bad rap for a viral tweet about two women who were allegedly kidnapped at the popular eatery on Friday 29 April 2022.
Were two women kidnapped at News Cafe, Woodmead?
A Twitter user who identifies as ‘The Digital Shrink’ posted a thread that sent shockwave across social media, detailing how her birthday celebrations turned into a night of horror when she and her friends witnessed what, at first, looked like the brazen abduction of two women.
The user claims she and her mates met up with guy friends at the Sandton eatery, looking forward to a night of fun. She and her crew were seated by the patio of the restaurant, with a clear view of the activity going on around their table.
A short while after they had settled down, the user recalled noticing “a woman dancing happily inside.” About 30 minutes later, however, the jolly partygoer was so inebriated, News Cafe security officials had to carry her out of the establishment and “into some Mercedes [Benz].”
“We [were] shocked at how that happened so swiftly but we thinking naively that, ugh bouncers wouldn’t let this happen, also it is plain sight so no ways this is human trafficking,” she tweeted.
However, alarm bells rang off when, a short while later, another woman collapsed in a similar fashion. That’s when commotion ensued. Again, the woman was lifted by security to the same Mercedes Benz that the first woman was taken into.
“There’s a bit of commotion and a blue BMW pulls up. They take girl 1 out the Merc into the beemer, girl 2 into the Merc and sped off,” she added.
Convinced, in retrospect, that this was a double kidnapping, possibly linked to human trafficking, the Twitter user warned her followers to never set foot at News Cafe in Woodmead, not knowing that the entire ordeal was blown out of proportion.
In a statement released by police, spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Sello shot down claims that the women were abducted at the eatery.
In fact, police followed up on the story and found that the women in question were “picked up by their next of kin contrary to what has been purported on social media.”
Here is the complete thread that’s gone viral:
What in God's name is going on at News Café in Woodmead? 😳 So, Friday night (29th) was my birthday, so my friends and I decide to go spend the night there. Cool, it's my first time there and I'm keen. Prior to this my mom tells my friend & I should be careful etc.— The Digital Shrink (@digital_shrink) May 2, 2022
The truth about what happened to Kgalalelo Told
Col. Sello did, however, confirm that a missing person case was reported after a patron that was at News Cafe that evening never made it home.
33-year-old Kgalalelo Tolo was last seen leaving the Woodmead restaurant that Friday evening but contrary to claims that he may have been abducted, police confirmed he was allegedly “involved in a fatal hit and run accident while apparently walking back to his place of residence.”
“The Management of the SAPS in Gauteng cautions social media users to refrain from circulating and spreading unverified messages that seek to cause fear and panic amongst communities,” the police statement read.