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South Africa Investigating Case Of Abducted Children Taken To Egypt

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: SAgov}

South Africa

Pretoria – The Hawks are investigating a case of two abducted children who were taken to Egypt without their mother’s consent by their Egyptian fathers.

“We have assured the families that we are going to leave no stone unturned to ensure that the children are brought back home,” Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said.

Speaking in Pretoria, Minister Gigaba said he met with the two families of the five-year-old boy and girl.

“Both mothers have assured us that they never wrote consent forms for the children to leave the country,” he said.

One of the mothers of the children showed the Department of Home Affairs the passport of the child that was still in her possession.

“In the instance that any official of State was involved in colluding with the fathers to travel with the minors without authorisation, then those officials are going to be brought to book,” Minister Gigaba said.

He said the department needed to establish how the fathers succeed to enter the departure space, enter the airlines with which they travelled and leave the country without authorisation; not only from the mothers of the children but also the immigration services at OR Tambo International Airport.

“Cases such as these bring to light the real practical cases that we are dealing with on a daily basis of children that are being abducted out of the country,” Minister Gigaba said.

He expressed sadness at the incident but said this case raises the questions whether the measures the Department of Affairs has introduced to protect children were strong enough.

Last month, the new immigration legislation amendments came into effect. Under the new legislation, South Africans and foreign nationals travelling to and from South Africa with children under the age of 18 are required to produce unabridged birth certificates.

The implementation of the new legislation is part of government’s commitment to safeguard the best interests of children and prevent child trafficking.

Minister Gigaba said the case of the two children who have been abducted to Egypt indicates that the department’s concern on child trafficking, child smuggling and child abduction are real. –SANews.gov.za

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