Many people were outraged that the woman from trade union Solidarity's Helpende Hand organisation had the nerve to specify that she needed a white family to help with the girl's welfare.

Johannesburg - Child Welfare SA has launched an investigation into a care giver who put out an urgent message on social media requesting a place to stay for a “little white girl” before she is placed in “black” children’s home.

The message in Afrikaans read: “Hi julle. My hart is so eina vandag. ons soek dringend plek vir ‘n dogtertjie om ingeneem te word vir pleegsorg of plek van veiligheid. Sy is 6 jr oud en pragtig. Ons noem haar vir veiligheidsredes Z. As sy nie vandag ander plek kry nie gaan sy na ‘n swart kinderhuis. Asseblief as daar iemand is wat kan help!!!!”

(Hi everyone. My heart is so sore today. We are desperately looking for a place to stay for a little girl at a home or place of safety. She is 6 years old and pretty. We will call her Z for safety reasons. If we don’t find another place for her to stay, she will be placed in a black children’s home.)

The message went viral and was picked up on several websites and social media platforms with hundreds of responses.

Many people were outraged that the woman from trade union Solidarity’s Helpende Hand organisation had the nerve to specify that she needed a white family to help with the girl’s welfare. However, there were even more responses from people who were willing to take the girl in.

Child Welfare’s Laura Chiweshe said the matter has been referred for investigation.

“The individual who posted the message has admitted she followed the wrong proto-col. The standard procedure at Child Welfare SA is to refer any enquiries or alerts brought through social media to the nearest Child Welfare office for immediate investigation.

“I can however confirm that the child is already in a place of safety.”

Juanita du Preez, spokesperson for Solidarity Helping Hand, said the message was sent out in “hysteria” and had not been an official message from Helpende Hand. “We heard that the mother of the child had panicked,” she said. - Saturday Star