Searching for long-lost mom

WEARY: Noziphiwe Budaza. Pic. Kamogelo Seekoei. 18/12/2006. © Sowetan
WEARY: Noziphiwe Budaza. Pic. Kamogelo Seekoei. 18/12/2006. © Sowetan

Kamogelo Seekoei

Noziphiwe Budaza, 16, last saw her parents when she was only eight years old. Today, she can't wait to be reunited with them.

Budaza was found by the police on Thursday at a house in Kagiso, near Krugersdorp - about 1000km from her original home in a township near Grahamstown.

She has been given accommodation at the Kagiso police's Victim Empowerment Centre.

Budaza said she left home with her aunt eight years ago to live in Johannesburg.

"I stayed with my aunt and her lover until the man's house was repossessed. Then a police officer put me in a foster home in Kagiso. The house was later sold and I started to roam the streets. I didn't know where my aunt was."

Two years ago, Budaza was taken in by a man, known as Reggie, who was also accommodating other girls. Reggie's house was raided by the police on Wednesday. They were searching for drugs.

Though Budaza, who has a bite mark and a healing black eye, maintains that the girls "were always safe in the house" she now wants to go home.

"I want to see my mother, whom I think about every day."