Jozini home: Court appoints curator over children

2012-08-06 00:00

THE high court in Pietermaritzburg has granted an order that all the children living at the Umbombo Children’s Care Village near Jozini are to be relocated today.

The facility may not operate as a children’s home until it has been registered in terms of the Children’s Act.

However, in terms of a consent order granted by Acting Judge Deon Schaup on Friday, advocate Ann Skelton has been appointed curator in respect of the affected children.

She is to investigate and prepare a report about the welfare of the children and make recommendations to the Social Development Department and the court within 60 days about what would be in the children’s best interest.

This follows a dispute between the department and the trustees of the children’s village. The department sought to close down the home and return the children to family members, while the trustees protested that the welfare of the “abandoned” and, in some instances, disabled children was being jeopardised.

A joint trustee of the home, Patricia Irons, alleged that the reason the children’s village was that the provincial head of the department “neglects or refuses to process the application”.

In terms of Friday’s consent order the children are to be moved to a registered children’s home or other suitable place pending he court’s final decision.

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