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Friday, 21 September 2018
 
 
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ZIMBABWEAN CHILDREN SAFE IN THE HANDS OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Print E-mail
Saturday, 03 March 2018
Pretoria, 02 March 2018: The North Gauteng High Court has postponed the case of the eight Zimbabwean children, who were smuggled illegally in the country in November last year. The children who are currently in the care and protection of the Department of Social Development were found in a truck by members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Rustenburg on their way to Cape Town.

The Department of Social Development (DSD) has been working with the Zimbabwean Consulate and the Department of Home Affairs on the safe repatriation of the Children. The Department of Home Affairs has granted a waiver for the children to travel to Zimbabwe and the Department of Social Services in that country has confirmed its willingness to receive the children on Tuesday at the Robert Mugabe International airport in Harare.

Today the court heard that the parents who brought the urgent application before the court did not cooperate with the office the family advocate which was ordered by the Court to investigate the well-being of the children and the suitability of the parents to look after the minor children. Papers before the court showed that the alleged parents too may not be legally residing in the country.

Judge Pierre Rabie who presided over the case was at pains to explain to the counsel representing the alleged parents that “the fact that you are parent does not mean suitability to be a parent.” He also ordered that the report of the office of the family advocate should be classified as confidential and not be reported about.

He postponed the case to Monday, March 5 for the applicants to study the report of the office of the family advocate and ordered that the children should remain in the care and protection of the Department of Social Development. He said he was satisfied that the children were safe and in good hands under the care and protection of the State.

The Department of Social Development remains firm that the children should be handed over to the Zimbabwean authorities.

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

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