Cape Town – Three Mitchells Plain children, including a three-month-old baby, have been removed from the care of their drug addict parents following an investigation by the Social Development Department.
This follows an inspection at the couple’s home in Rocklands where the children were found locked up in a dark shack by neighbours while their mother was allegedly out smoking drugs.
The children were rescued after concerned neighbour, Delmaine Samuels, 43, posted a video on Facebook of the crying, hungry and filthy children who were locked inside the backyard shack.
Samuels told the Daily Voice that he witnessed the couple’s seven-year-old son being repeatedly beaten by his mother who allegedly forces him to take care of his three-year-old sister and baby brother while she smokes drugs.
Police were called to the house on Monday, but the mother had fled with the children.
On Tuesday, Samuels met social workers and gave them a statement.
He says shortly after the video was posted, social workers arrived and photographed the filthy shack.
Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez says a social worker from the Metro South region conducted a home visit and safety and risk assessments.
“The children have been temporarily placed in a place of safety while the investigation continues,” the MEC confirmed.
“The protection of children, a priority area for the Department of Social Development, is something that must be driven all year round and requires action from the whole of society.
“All of us need to be doing far more to prevent cases of child abuse, neglect and murders.”
Samuels says he was contacted by a relative on Tuesday who confirmed the children are with their extended family.
“The sister messaged me to say she has the seven-year-old son and three-year-old daughter with her, while the baby was with another auntie.
“I saw pictures and you can see the big difference in the children. They are clean and they look happy. I am glad I reported it because I was very worried about their safety.”
Samuels says while relatives have asked to remain anonymous, they are struggling to provide for the children.
“It’s a sensitive matter for them and they are just trying to help the children but they are now sukkeling with the extra mouths to feed,” he says.
“They told me that the children only have the clothes they were wearing and are appealing for donations to help keep them warm, and the seven-year old needs school clothes and stationery.”
If you would like to assist, call Delmaine Samuels on 074 576 6252.