Social Development mulls placement of trafficked siblings

The woman (20) & her brother (14) were kidnapped by a person pretending to be a teacher & taken to Malawi.

FILE: The Social Development Department says will determine whether the siblings’ grandmother is fit to look after them. Picture: Stock.XCHNG

JOHANNESBURG - The Social Development Department has said an independent investigation will be conducted to determine where a brother and his sister, who were kidnapped in Mpumalanga, will be placed once they return from Malawi.

The pair were kidnapped in July last year after a woman pretending to be a teacher promised their grandmother they would have a better life in the United Kingdom, but then took them to Malawi.

The 20-year-old woman, who apparently has learning difficulties, and the 14-year-old boy were found after Interpol reported the case to the Department of Social Development.

The department's Lumka Oliphant said they will determine if the siblings' grandmother is fit to look after them.

"We'll also need to do an investigation as the department so that we see where the children are placed."

She said the department will put the interests of the siblings first.

"We need to find out what would they like do because child participation is very important."

The two are expected to arrive back in the country on Thursday.

Oliphant said they are investigating whether the siblings were abused.

No arrests have been made.