Emotional homecoming for SA toddler after 3 years behind bars with mom
14 April 2016, 13:46
Johannesburg - A 3-year-old boy was on Wednesday reunited
with his family in South Africa after spending three years in a Mozambican jail
with his mother.
His South African mother was jailed for drug trafficking in
The Department of Social Development said the boy had been
living with his mother in a Mozambican prison since she was jailed. He was born
while his mother was incarcerated.
She is serving a 12-year sentence.
The boy was received by the Social Development Minister
Bathabile Dlamini at OR Tambo International Airport along with the boy's foster
"The boy was born to a South African mother in a
Mozambique prison and is not accustomed to life outside of prison so he will
need good care," Conny Nxumalo, Deputy Director General of Welfare
Services for the National Department of Social Development said.
The mother requested that the boy, who may not be
identified, be placed in the care of her extended family living in the Free
According to Mozambican law, children are not allowed to
stay with their imprisoned mothers.
In a video recording by the department which was posted on
its Facebook page, the child's grandfather said he was happy that the child
could finally have a normal life.
"I feel so proud. What has happened feels like a dream
to me," he said, adding that they had been trying hard to get the child to
"So I feel like even his mother... will know and
understand that her child is now in safe hands."
South Africa's Children’s Act 38 of 2005 requires the
country to repatriate children living in distress in foreign countries.
According to Nxumalo, 18 children have already been
repatriated back to the country between 2005 and 2015.