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30 orphans taken

By unknown | Jul 06, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ntwaagae Seleka

Ntwaagae Seleka

A British doctor has raised concern about the health and welfare of an Orange Farm, Vaal, woman after social workers this week forcefully removed 30 orphans from her care.

Annette Montague of the UK Global Natural Healthcare Trust and award-winning gospel singer Rebecca Malope were among readers who inundated Sowetan with calls since Tuesday, after Gauteng social workers first took two infants away in a raid on the Siyakhula Orphanage.

The government said Mabaso's orphanage was not registered with the Social Development Department.

Montague said she feared that Mabaso's health would never be the same again.

Mabaso, 54, established Siyakhula at her house in 1999 to care for orphaned and abandoned children with ages ranging from three months to 21.

Some were abandoned at her gate while others were brought by families or were victims of sexual abuse.

Montague described Mabaso as a good foster mother who gave her best to the orphaned and abandoned children.

Montague's London-based organisation runs a project for people living with HIV-Aids and also orphans at Orange Farm.

Montague said the removed children will be traumatised by the experience.

On Wednesday the social workers continued their raid accompanied by police and removed about 13 children, but 15 others escaped.

The incident left Mabaso dejected and in tears.

Montague said: "After the forceful removal of the children Mabaso suffered shock and stress and her health will never be the same again."

She said Mabaso needed counselling to help her calm down.

Montague said that the children were used to Mabaso and it would be difficult for them to adapt at the new centres to which they were relocated.

"Mabaso's issue has really touched me. I fear that the children might run away from the shelters and go back to the streets."

She said the children who live on the streets ended up being involved in criminal activities to survive.

Malope said the government should have helped Mabaso register her centre eight years ago when she first founded it by turning her four-roomed house into an orphanage.

Mabaso has built two dormitories in her yard, one for boys and the other for girls.

There are also three toilets and a bathroom that the children use.

In 2003 the Gauteng Department of Housing allocated R3,9million to build the Siyakhula Orphanage.

But the department this week said the centre would be completed next March.


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