21 November 2012

South Africa: Two Arrested As Operation Hlangula Continues

press release

After two days of an intensive door to door campaign, Social Workers have removed from their homes more than ten children allegedly neglected and abused by their parents.

The children were removed in Duncan Village and Mdantsane as part of the Social Development and Special Programmes' "Operation Hlangula" aimed at rescuing children who are at risk and promote community participation on issues affecting children. The operation is conducted in partnership with the South African Police Service, South African Social Security Agency and Child Welfare South Africa and the community workers from the Buffalo City Metro.

As part of this operation, the police arrested two mothers for child neglect after two children were found locked up in a shack in Duncan Village on Monday. Other four children were left in the care of their 14 year old sibling in Mdantsane while the mother went to visit her family in King William's Town, taking with her the youngest of her children.

Senior Manager for Children, Nomgcobo Mgilane, suggests that the campaign has yielded the desired results. "Beyond rescuing children who are at risk, we have also managed to identify other children who are falling through the social security net and have arranged for relevant services to be delivered to those families" said Mgilane.

The children removed during this campaign were placed with prospective foster parents and some in children's home around East London. Other cases dealt with involved alleged physical abuse and Foster Care Grant misuse. During this campaign the police also confiscated SASSA cards from a loan shark in Mdantsane.

Since the beginning of the year, 15 children were rescued from Mdantsane, East London, Ilitha and Dimbaza. Seven of these children were placed in the care of their relatives, three in a children's home while others were placed in temporal safe care pending foster care placement.

Today, 21 November the campaign is continuing in Ilitha and it will be closed with a door to door in identified areas of Dimbaza. Mgilane said that the success of the campaign depends on the community members. "The fact that we will be closing the campaign does not mean that community members should stop reporting cases of alleged neglect and abuse."

Issued by: Eastern Cape Social Development

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