New twist in case of Sao Paulo street kids

2014-11-10 05:05

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Johannesburg - New details have emerged about the case involving two South African boys who were repatriated from Brazil after their mother was arrested for drug trafficking, the department of social development said on Sunday.

The department found that the woman has five children in total - the two that were repatriated to South Africa on Thursday, another two who were born in Brazil, and a fifth child whose whereabouts was unknown, department spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said.

The two Brazilian-born children came to South Africa with their mother in September last year, and were presently living in the country with the mother's family.

Oliphant confirmed that these two children do not have South African citizenship.

"She has two other undocumented children that she brought into the country... The aforementioned children were born in Brazil and got into the country using Brazilian documents," said Oliphant.

"They stay with their maternal family whose sole income is the old age grant."

The repatriated boys, aged seven and 13, arrived in South Africa on Thursday. They last saw their mother in December. She was arrested for allegedly trafficking drugs between Brazil and Portugal.

These two boys had different fathers, and neither of them were South African. Oliphant said the mother chose to have these two children stay with foster parents that she had selected for them from KwaZulu-Natal. However, the boys were put in a place of safety after the selected foster parents declined to take them.

The department on Sunday also revealed that the repatriated children, who were initially thought to have been living on the streets of Sao Paolo, were in fact living with someone else after their mother's arrest.

"The children reported that they were not living on the streets and that, rather, they were living with a neighbour in Brazil before being placed in a home by the Brazilian authorities," said Oliphant.

"On interviewing and scrutinising the documents of the repatriated children, it was found that the surname of one of the ... minors is the same as that of the 'community member' who took the children to the South African consulate in Brazil and reported that they were living on the streets."

Oliphant said the fifth child appeared on South Africa's population register but it was not known where the child was.

The ages of the other three children were not provided.

Read more on:    brazil  |  durban  |  narcotics

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