Flowers, tears for abducted siblings who arrived home from Malawi

2015-06-26 08:23
Minister Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: Lisa Hnatowicz

Minister Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: Lisa Hnatowicz

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Two siblings from Mpumalanga, who were abducted and trafficked to Malawi last July, received a warm welcome at the OR Tambo International Airport yesterday. 

The siblings, aged 20 and 14 years, were removed from the care of their grandmother by a woman who posed as a former teacher. The woman, who claimed to be from Swaziland, allegedly promised to send them to the United Kingdom to further their education. 

The teenage boy had learning difficulties and the trafficker used that to her advantage, promising the grandmother she would take the child to the UK for specialist care. But none of the promises materialised. 

A team comprising the department of social development, International Social Service and Interpol travelled to Malawi on Monday to repatriate the siblings. 

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini welcomed the siblings at the airport. As soon as the siblings saw their grandmother, smiles lit their faces. 

The 20-year-old ran and embraced her. Tears of joy and relief flowed endlessly from her eyes. 

Her grandmother could not contain her excitement either. For a minute they stood hugging each tightly without saying a word. 

The teenage boy seemed a bit reserved. Dlamini approached him and asked if he had ever received flowers. 

He said “no”. The minister handed him a bunch of flowers saying “welcome home.” 

He smiled and accepted them before they were whisked off to Southern Sun Hotel a few kilometres from the airport. 

Read more on:    child trafficking

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