Children saved from illegal Islamic academy in Dundee

2014-06-10 00:00

SOCIAL workers have rescued 12 children from an illegal Islamic academy in Wasbank near Dundee.

The Sabalalisa Iqiniso Dawah Academy allegedly denied them formal education and taught them only the Qu’ran.

The Department of Social Welfare said yesterday the police were alerted to the illegal school by two children who had managed to escape from it.

Spokesperson Ncumisa Fandesi said that, upon investigation, social workers found 18 people including 12 children, who were being held in a hall with 10 bunk beds.

They established that the children and youths did not attend any formal education facility, but were studying the Qu’ran. “Social workers established that although the Sabalalisa Iqiniso Dawah Academy is a registered non-profit organisation (NPO), it is not permitted to accommodate children and that the consent forms they claimed to have were, in fact, signed by the children themselves.”

An instructor at the academy has been arrested along with five youths who were found to be in the country illegally.

MEC Weziwe Thusi said she was happy with the action of the police and the social workers. “When this matter was first brought to our attention last week, social workers worked into the night to establish the circumstances under which these children were being held. After spending hours at the facility they found clear contravention of the Children’s Act and took appropriate action.”

“We understand that this is not the only facility of its kind and our social workers will continue to work with the police in dealing with this matter.”

She said the rescued children will remain in the department’s care until contact with their parents had been established.

Colonel Jay Naicker said six people were arrested and charged at Wasbank police station for contravening the Immigration Act.

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