The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development’s removal of children from three children’s homes last Friday amounts to a violation of human rights and it endangered the lives of numerous children so the FF Plus will lodge a complaint with the police as well as the Human Rights Commission (HRC) against the Department and the relevant officials.
Officials from the Department met with the management of the three children’s homes and were in discussion until late this afternoon. The three children’s homes are: Môrester Ladysmith, Môrester Newcastle and Home Meah in Newcastle.
According to the information at the FF Plus’s disposal, the people involved in the management of the children’s homes who attended today’s meetings are very upset seeing as the Department was unable to provide satisfactory reasons for its actions.
According to them, the Department just took action based on allegations of supposed racism. The Department did not approach them to first discuss the alleged complaints and, thus, the Department’s actions were unexpected and without warning.
It is basically the same as taking children from their parents’ home without providing any reasons for doing so
“What is most disturbing is the fact that some of the children – ranging from babies to teenagers – suffer from life-threatening health conditions which means that they need to be on chronic medication and receive special care. And despite the pleas of the staff of these facilities, the children were removed and in some cases without their medication,” says adv Anton Alberts, FF Plus -chairperson.
According to media reports, it also appears that over the weekend, some of the children who were forcibly removed by armed police escort have already run away from where they were placed by the Department and have gone back to the children’s homes.
“What makes the situation truly tragic and traumatic for the children is the fact that these facilities are the only place that they can call home.
“It is basically the same as taking children from their parents’ home without providing any reasons for doing so because thus far, satisfactory reasons for the serious intervention by the Department have not been provided.
“The incident is shocking and unacceptable, and the FF Plus will lodge a complaint with the HRC and will also ask the police to investigate a criminal complaint of kidnapping,” Aberts says.