Two boys home from Sao Paulo are going to foster parents

Two boys have been returned home after being stranded in Brazil after their mother was imprisoned for drug trafficking 5 months ago. The boys aged 7 and 13 last saw their mother in December. They spent months on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil before they were reported to local authorities. It is understood they went into the country with their mother, where she was recruited from her job in a hair salon to traffic drugs to Portugal.

According to Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, the boys will be cared for by a designated foster family...

The Constitution of South Africa and the Children's Act says in such situations we must take interest of the child into consideration - and that is what we did. The mother made a recommendation who should be foster parents.

Minister Bathabile Dlamini

It has been reported that while the boys do have fathers, they don't live in South Africa and so far have been difficult to trace. Minister Dlamini has hinted at an ongoing search for the fathers, but in the meantime the foster parents will play a crucial role in coming months.

The young one only speaks Portuguese and the older one speaks Portuguese and English. We will be following a programme of intergration very closely for the next three months.

Minister Bathabile Dlamini

Listen to the Minister's interview with Xolani Gwala here...

Standing in for Stephen Grootes on the Midday Report, Ray White spoke to Chief Director of Communications at Department of Social Development, Lumka Oliphant...

We fetched them in the morning, but they were very reserved and may well be traumatised. In Brazil, children are taken care of by the government, but they were reported to the South African government by a community member. They were going to school, because the bigger boy said he’s in Grade 6 and the younger one is in Grade 2 and they even play instruments. They were living some kind of life.

Lumka Oliphant

He divulged that the Department of Social Development has ID numbers for the fathers...

We know they have different fathers – one is from Burundi and the other is from Nigeria. We have the identity numbers of the two fathers, but we need to speak to our immigration officers because they aren’t South Africa.

Lumka Oliphant
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