Fifty seven Malawian children have been rescued in South Africa by what the authorities believe was a group of child traffickers. Three Malawian nationals were arrested in North West province, when the police stopped their vehicle which was speeding. The children were found in the back of the windowless delivery van.
Members of the South African Police Service stationed in Boitekong North West Province were busy with their routine patrol duties when they stopped a suspicious truck driving at high speed in the early hours of Sunday, the 24th July 2016.
On investigation and during the search fifty seven (57) undocumented children aged between 11 and 21 years were found in the back of a delivery truck which is without windows. Eighteen (18) of these children are girls (females) while thirty nine (39) of them are boys (males). These children were transported by the three adult occupants including the driver who are Malawian nationals. These adults could not provide a satisfactory account on the status of all the children.
The driver and his two companions were arrested for human trafficking. Further probe has revealed that all children were also Malawian Nationals. An investigation is currently underway which involves authorities and law enforcement agencies including engagements with our counterparts in Malawi. The response and cooperation of the Embassy of Malawi in this regard is appreciated.
The members of the service are applauded for the arrest and apprehension of the three suspects thereby saving the children from being abused. The issues related to how these children were able to cross the borders of our country including how they were able to reach Rustenburg is a matter of serious concern. The outcome of the investigation in finding answers to all the related questions is thus eagerly awaited.