Thirty Malawian children who were among a group of 57 people that were trafficked to South Africa in July this year are expected to arrive back home on Wednesday December 14, 2016.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rejoice Shumba, confirmed the development in an interview, adding that the Malawi mission in Johannesburg is working on modalities for the repatriation of 27 adults who were also trafficked to the rainbow nation.
“The authorities in the Republic of South Africa are said to have completed court proceedings for all the 57 Malawians who were detained under this ordeal. From the medical report undertaken, it has been established that 30 are minors and 27 are adults
“The International Organisation for Migration has undertaken to repatriate all the 30 minors and that the process for their repatriation is at an advanced stage. They are expected to return to Malawi on 14th December 2016,” Shumba said in an emailed response.
She added that government is aware of the serious nature of the situation and is committed to having all the 57 people in the country without fail.
“If not repatriated, all the 57 people will be sent to Lindela Camp for detention to await deportation arranged by the Republic of South Africa, hence Malawi Government’s commitment to the process,” Shumba said.
She said the victims are at a shelter in Rustenburg awaiting the completion of their repatriation modalities.
The 57 people were found in a delivery truck, with an improvised tiny window, en route to South Africa after a search of the vehicle by South African police. The group had no proper documentation to travel to South Africa.
Three Malawian men including the driver were arrested following the incident and are currently answering human trafficking related charges in the rainbow nation.
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