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Durban - A KwaZulu-Natal man has allegedly attempted to sell off his toddler niece for R600 at a Phoenix taxi rank over the weekend. The unharmed toddler was rescued by the KZN VIP Protectors after receiving a tip-off from SAPS in Phoenix, Durban.

According to KZN police spokesperson, Major Thulani Zwane, the baby girl was left in the care of the mother’s mentally disturbed brother while she went to work. “The brother took the child with him in a pram to buy some things, while on his way he was approached by security guards and a problem between the man and guards had initiated. They questioned the man, however he could not understand the language they spoke in,” said Zwane.

Zwane also said that police investigations have failed to locate witnesses who could corroborate the claims that the child was being offered for sale. He added that the toddler was reunited with her mother. However, Glen Naidoo, owner of KZN VIP Protectors, disagrees and strongly believes that police are covering up their incompetence.

According to Naidoo, police could not trace the whereabouts of the uncle and approached his unit for assistance. They were then able to locate the man and child meters from where he was last seen.

During a telephonic interview with Naidoo, he alleged that Zwane was covering their mess-ups and his (Naidoo’s) unit took charge in recovering the child. He further alleges that he is willing to take this matter on air (radio) as he firmly disagrees with Zwane’s statement and SAPS’s way of handling the matter.

Child Welfare in Phoenix has expressed dismay over the incident. “All children’s problems become ours. We protect children from all types of abuse and we held a placard demonstration highlighting our children and their rights. Something like this should never ever happen,” said Aruna Chetty of Child Welfare Phoenix.

From Sunday, May 29, South Africa commemorates National Child Protection week, which focuses on addressing issues that affect children. The next six days will highlight children’s rights in South Africa, with specific focus on dealing with issues and challenges affecting their protection and growth.



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