SA boys were allegedly stranded in Brazil since December

The two boys have apparently been stranded in Sao Paulo since their mother's arrest in December.

Authorities receive the two kids who were repatriated from Brazil after their mother was arrested in Portugal for drug trafficking. Picture: Nomsa Mdhluli/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - It's emerged the Department of Social Development suspects the two South African boys stranded in Brazil, were left on their own for almost a year.

The two young brothers were found wandering the streets of Sao Paulo, after their mother was arrested for drug trafficking in Portugal.

The brothers aged seven and 13 landed in the country this morning.

They walked through the airport terminal doors dressed in identical outfits.

The department says their mother was arrested in December and suspects the boys have been fending for themselves ever since.

It says it became aware of their plight in May, and has spent months trying to negotiate their repatriation.

They will be cared for by a foster family who was nominated by their mother.

A social worker was also at the airport to meet them.

The boys are now being taken to a hotel where they will meet Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

She is then due to address the media, touching on the impact that drug-trafficking has on children.

In the past six years, 18 South African children have been repatriated from foreign countries.