Mom, son reunited after 17 years

By admin
05 February 2010

The flight Judy Kotze was waiting for at Cape Town International Airport was late arriving. But she’d been waiting for 17 years so another hour or two wouldn’t matter.

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She was waiting for her son, Ruben, to come home from Germany, where he was illegally taken in 1994 by his father, Judy’s former husband, who he’d been holidaying with in Namibia as a six-year-old. The last time Judy had hugged her son she was able to hold both his tiny hands in one of hers. That was shortly after Christmas in 1993.

Finally Ruben, now a soft-spoken and intelligent 22-year-old, walks through the doors at the arrivals hall. Judy runs to him and they hug again. “It’s so nice to say the word ‘mother’. I’ve done a lot of missing,” a smiling Ruben says in a heavy German accent.

He and Judy never stopped searching for each other. Then in November last year they found each other on the internet. He discovered her by chance - on his father’s Facebook page. He saw the name Judy Kotze in a list of possible acquaintances his father would invite as friends on his profile.

He googled all the Judy Kotzes in Cape Town and last November found this message on a website: “My Son is Ruben Maart. Born 23/4/1987 in Namibia. Last heard that his father moved him to Germany.”

Read more in the 11 February edition of YOU.

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