In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.
MAPUTO - A Mozambican girl who gained worldwide fame after being born in a tree where her mother had sought refuge during devastating floods in 2000, has won a court battle to strip her father of his parental rights.
State radio reported yesterday that a Mozambican court had ruled in favour of Rosita Mabuiango and her mother, who had accused the child's father of stealing and selling goods donated to the family.
The girl, seven-year-old Rosita, was born in a tree in February 2000 as the crocodile-infested flood waters of the Limpopo river swirled in a disaster which claimed more than 700 lives.
Television viewers saw Rosita, her mother Sofia and her grandmother plucked to safety by a South African helicopter just minutes after her birth - a media event that helped galvanise world support for victims of the disaster.
The baby's celebrity status was later credited with helping to raise about R3,5billion in international assistance following the flooding, the worst disaster to hit Mozambique in almost half a century.
Radio Mozambique said the Chibuto district court had found that goods donated to the family by the government and foreign and local well-wishers, which included livestock, a refrigerator, a generator and a solar panel, had all been sold by Rosita's father, Salvador Mabuiango.
"We found that the father sold the child's property and we have been unable to recover most of the goods," Chibuto district attorney Jose dos Santos told the national broadcaster.
Dos Santos said all the court could do was remove Mabuiango's paternal power over the child and declare that henceforth all of Rosita's property would be handled exclusively by her mother.
Rosita's mother, Sofia, told the daily Noticias newspaper she was relieved by the court ruling. - Reuters