Bathabile Dlamini

Johannesburg - South Africa's social development minister, Bathabile Dlamini, on Thursday received confirmation from the Zimbabwean Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of its willingness to receive eight minor children who were smuggled into South Africa in November last year.

Social development department spokesperson Bathembu Futshane said the confirmation letter stated that the Zimbabwean ministry was prepared to receive the eight unaccompanied minors at the Robert Mugabe International airport in Harare, from where they will be taken to places of safety in Harare whilst documentation, tracing and reunification efforts were underway.

"The Department of Social Development has a Memorandum of Understanding with its counterpart in Zimbabwe on matters related to unaccompanied and undocumented minors," Futshane said.

Futshane said the department of social development has been working with the department of home affairs for the safe return to Zimbabwe of the children.

The eight children, aged two to 12, were rescued after a truck they were travelling in was intercepted in Rustenburg en route to Cape Town. The children, who were seemingly unaccompanied and undocumented, were reportedly on their way to visit their parents who are in South Africa illegally.

African News Agency/ANA