Team leaves to repatriate 'abducted' SA siblings from Malawi

2015-06-22 12:46
OR Tambo airport (File, AFP)

OR Tambo airport (File, AFP)

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Johannesburg - A specialist team left for Malawi on Monday to bring back a 14-year-old and 20-year-old who were allegedly abducted and trafficked there.

Speaking from OR Tambo International Airport, Department of Social Development spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said the team hoped to be back in South Africa on Thursday with the two.

“I can’t tell you too much, but we will have more information once we are there,” said Oliphant.

The Star reported on Monday that the 14-year-old girl and the man are siblings. 

A Malawian national, allegedly posing as a former teacher, removed the two from the care of their grandmother in Mpumalanga in July 2014, promising to take them to the UK.

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

Oliphant said the two had been found by Interpol. She could not confirm whether the alleged abductor was in the custody of Malawian officials.

Social welfare officials are caring for the two siblings.

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

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

Read more on:    malawi  |  abductions  |  human trafficking  |  crime

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