Zimbabwean parents do have birth certificates of their detained children

23 February 2018 - 16:15 By Katharine Child
Image: 123rf/ Phonlawat Chaicheevinlikit

The parents of the eight Zimbabwean children‚ who are being detained in an unknown location by the Department of Social Development‚ do have birth certificates proving the children are their own.

This is according to the advocate Simba Chitando‚ who is representing the children.

The department wants to repatriate the children‚ aged between two to 12‚ who are in South Africa without travel documents.

They were travelling on November 11 from Zimbabwe to join their parents in Cape Town for Christmas. There were adults in the truck.

The truck was intercepted at a Rustenburg garage after observers assumed they were victims of human trafficking.

The children have not seen their parents since November and are not allowed to speak to them.

The department holds the view the children were being trafficked but Chitando disputes this‚ saying the parents knew they were on the truck‚ that they were being brought into the country and that the parents have the children’s birth certificates.

Lumka Oliphant‚ the spokesperson for Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini‚ has not responded to TimesLIVE queries‚ but told ENCA the department could not confirm that they were the parents of the children.

She said the department plans to send the children to Zimbabwe next month.

Chitando took the matter to court and provided affidavits from the parents saying they wanted to be united with their children. The department of social development did not respond or appear in court on February 14.

The judge ruled that the office of the family advocate has to investigate the matter.

A father told TimesLIVE that: "If they don’t want to give us our kids they must tell us‚ because we are tired of stories."