Team bringing 'abducted' SA kids back from Malawi

2015-06-21 16:58

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Cape Town - A specialist team will set off to Malawi on Monday to bring back a 14-year-old and 20-year-old who were allegedly abducted and trafficked there, according to the social development department.

A woman posing as a former teacher removed the two from the care of their grandmother in Mpumalanga last July, department spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said on Sunday.

“The woman had promised to send them to the United Kingdom to further their education,” she said.

According to the grandmother, the alleged abductor had offered to take the 14-year-old there for specialist care the elderly woman could not afford, since the child had learning difficulties.

It is believed the woman may have physically abused and exploited the children. The younger child is believed to have malaria.

“The promise of taking them to the UK to further their studies had also not materialised.”

A team comprised of Interpol and department officials will repatriate them. Once back in the country, social workers and health professionals would provide necessary care and support for a smooth reintegration.

Social development Minister Bathabile Dlamini warned society to be vigilant.

“We urge South Africans to be cautious about who they bring into their homes.  Just like abuse, child trafficking is often perpetrated by people known to the family.”

The department said South Africa remained a source, transit point and destination country for trafficking victims, for forced labour and sexual exploitation, despite legislative measures.

Read more on:    malawi  |  child abuse

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