'I want my children back'

Moyahabo Mabeba

Moyahabo Mabeba

A distressed woman is accusing social workers of destroying her family by denying her the right to see her two daughters and two sons.

Nancy Sethosa, 41, of GaMashashane village, said each time she visited her children at the Polokwane welfare complex she was told her daughters Grace, 17, and Lenda, 12, were at school and could not be disturbed.

Phuti Seloba, spokesman for the provincial department of health and social development, yesterday described the single mother's visits as "inconvenient" because the girls would indeed be attending classes.

Sethosa's sons, Delson, 6, and Max, 4, were also taken from their mother months ago and placed in foster care at the Polokwane Child and Family Care Society because she was considered unfit to raise her children.

This was after Sethosa once left them to look for employment in the city while the four-year-old still needed to be breast-fed.

The six-year-old had to assume mothering responsibilities, ending up dropping out of school.

Sethosa is distraught and ill, but is nevertheless demanding that all her children be returned to her.

Sethosa yesterday said that she could not receive the children's monthly social grants because their birth certificates were confiscated.

She pleaded that they be brought home with their certificates because she wanted to renew their monthly child support grants.

"When I went to renew their grants I was told that I should bring along birth certificates and the children as proof that they are still alive," she said.

But Seloba wondered how she could demand grants when the government was looking after the children.