Eight children held in South Africa to be repatriated to Zimbabwe

Eight Zimbabwean children must be repatriated to their home country after being held by authorities in South Africa for three months‚ the Pretoria High Court has ruled.

“We welcome the decision to repatriate the children to Zimbabwe. We believe that the South African Government‚ through the Department of Social Development‚ always acts in the best interest of the child. We want to thank the SAPS‚ the social workers‚ the office of the Family Advocate and all other officials who worked tirelessly to make sure that the children are protected‚” said Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu.

“[Judge Bill Prinsloo] said he could not fathom how parents could allow their children to travel with strangers‚ in a truck‚ from Beit Bridge to the Cape and said that he doubted that the parents acted in the best interest of the children.”

The Department of Social Development had wanted to repatriate the children‚ who are in the country illegally.
But in February a group of eight adults brought an application to have the children released into their care. They could‚ however‚ not provide proof that they are the children’s primary care givers.

The children were travelling on November 11 in a truck‚ unaccompanied and without documents‚ from Zimbabwe to join their parents for Christmas.

While on the back of the truck‚ they were intercepted at a Rustenburg garage after observers assumed they were victims of human trafficking.