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Children's home rocked by abuse and racism allegations wants kids back

146 children have been removed from children's homes in Kwazulu Natal after allegations of abuse and racism.
Rape 146 children have been removed from children's homes in Kwazulu Natal after allegations of abuse and racism.
Image: lassedesignen/123rf

Last week‚ officials from the KwaZulu-Natal department of social development arrived at Morester Children's Home in Ladysmith‚ Morester Children's Home in Newcastle and Home Meah in Newcastle on Friday.

The department confirmed that social workers had removed 146 children from the Ladysmith site‚ 33 from Morester Newcastle and 18 from Home Meah in Newcastle.

The children have been placed in government-owned child and youth-care centres as well as care centres funded by the state.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC Weziwe Thusi said in a statement that the children had been removed following allegations of physical‚ verbal and emotional abuse as well as racism‚ including the use of the offensive K-word against both African children and members of staff.

She ordered a high-level investigation into the allegations of widespread violations of the Children's Act at the Morester Children's Home in Ladysmith after a preliminary investigation showed some staff members had a case to answer.

Now the home is trying to get the children back.

Reverend Gerhard Botha‚ chief executive of KwaZulu-Natal Christian Social Services‚ which oversees Morester‚ told TimesLIVE on Wednesday that they were kept in the dark about the allegations of abuse.

He said social workers informed them at the last minute of the impending removal of the children last week but the department had not‚ prior to the removal‚ engaged Morester about the allegations of abuse or racism.

"We are forced to go to court‚ because our priority is about the safety of the children. The allegations and investigation must be done‚ but the children have been traumatised by their forced removal."

Botha said they were willing to co-operate fully with an investigation into the allegations‚ and this could have been done without the "dramatic and traumatic" removal of the children.

"We are concerned that the children are scattered all over the place and some have been told‚ we hear‚ that they won't be returning to the home."

He said the papers had been filed and the department had been notified.

KwaZulu-Natal department of social development spokesperson Ncumisa Ndelu confirmed the department received notice of the motion.



Source: TMG Digital.

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