Court processes, red tape blamed for delay in repatriating SA kids
The boys were found in Sao Paulo almost a year after their mother was arrested for drug trafficking.
JOHANNESBURG - Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini says it took government months to bring two South African boys home from Brazil because of court processes and diplomatic red tape.
Dlamini earlier addressed the media, touching on the impact that drug-trafficking has on children.
The two half-brothers, aged seven and 13, landed in the country this morning.
They walked through the airport terminal doors dressed in identical outfits.
They were found in Sao Paulo almost a year after their mother was arrested for drug trafficking in Portugal.
They were taken to the South African High Commission in Brazil in May and flew home overnight.
The department says the boys fended for themselves until it became aware of their plight in May.
Dlamini warned the youth that being lured into drug smuggling can cut short promising lives.
"They lose the better part of their life because they have to be incarcerated in those countries' prisons."
The minister said the boys have lived in Brazil for six years and will have to adjust to a new culture and language.
The boys' mother is currently awaiting trial in Portugal for drug smuggling.
They will be cared for by a foster family in KwaZulu-Natal who was nominated by their mother.
In the past six years, 18 South African children have been repatriated from foreign countries.