Gumtree condemns toddler-for-sale ad

OCTOBER 17, 2015

Gumtree South Africa has condemned an advert posted on their website offering a child for sale.

A 20-year-old woman was arrested in Pietermaritzburg for trying to sell her toddler for R5 000 on the online classifieds site on Thursday.

The arrest came after an undercover agent arranged to buy the 19-month-old child from her. The child was handed into the care of a social worker.

The mother was to have appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court on Friday. She would face human trafficking charges.

Police said they would investigate the website's role in the crime.

Gumtree South Africa Marketing Manager Claire Cobbledick said in a statement that their customer service team was alerted that a young woman had placed an ad on the site advertising a child for sale.

"The team immediately removed the ad and blocked the user's account, which effectively did not allow her to post any further ads on the site.

"The customer service team further escalated the issue to the corporate office that regularly engages law enforcement on suspected criminal cases, and the incident was reported to Childline in KwaZulu-Natal with all known details about the advert in question."

She added that the company, "offers full support and co-operation to the Hawks in aid of their investigation into this very serious matter".

News24