'We're all targets': Expert explains why SA seeing rise in demand for bodyguards

Close protection officer Pierre Gildenhuys said while wealthier people were targeted, kidnappings also took place in rural areas and townships where children were taken for ransom as well.

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CAPE TOWN - There seems to be an increase in demand for bodyguards and other protection services with kidnappings on the rise here in South Africa.

In recent years, there's been an uptick in businessmen being kidnapped for ransom.

The families of wealthy businesspeople are also being targeted.

The latest case to make headlines was the abduction of the Moti brothers in Polokwane.

READ: Parents of kidnapped Moti brothers overjoyed by their safe return

The children were found last week, three weeks after they were taken by a group of gunmen.

No details about their ordeal or whether a ransom was paid have been divulged.

Pierre Gildenhuys is the head of forensic investigations, specialised and qualified close protection officer, at D & K Management Consultants.

He said that, overall, there'd been an increase in demand for personal security.

"It's not only your high profile people but it's more and more becoming a need in South Africa where your kids can't play out in the street anymore, you can't leave your phone on the seat of your car. It's becoming a problem with crime statistics in South Africa."

Gildenhuys said while wealthier people were targeted, kidnappings also took place in rural areas and townships where children were taken for ransom as well.

"Children are being kidnapped and held for ransom for R1,000, R2,000, R5,000. Whether you are white, black, Indian, poor or rich, unfortunately, we are all targets."