12 CHILDREN RESCUED FROM ILLEGAL ISLAM INSTITUTION
By: Gift Nyamapfene
Social services removed 12 children on Sunday from Sabalalisa Iqiniso Dawah Islamic Academy in KwaZulu-Natal midlands stating that the institution’s activities were illegal.
Two children who had escaped the institution and reached out to the police necessitated the social workers’ intervention.
MEC for KZN Social Development, Weziwe Thusi said, “After spending hours at the facility they (social services) found clear contravention of the Children’s Act and took appropriate action.”
Social workers said the 12 children were among 18 people who were being held in a hall with 10 bunk beds. Initial investigations showed that the children and youths did not attend any formal education facility. They were studying the Quran.
Police said an instructor at the academy had been arrested along with five youths who are suspected to be illegal immigrants.
According to social services, although the academy is a registered non-profit organisation, it is not permitted to accommodate children. They discovered that the consent forms the academy claimed to have were in fact signed by the children themselves which is illegal.
“When this matter was first brought to our attention last week, social workers worked into the night to establish the circumstances under which these children were being held,” said Thusi.
“We understand that this is not the only facility of its kind and our Social Workers will continue to work with the police in dealing with this matter,” she said.
The children removed from the academy are currently being accommodated in children’s homes and will remain there until authorities contact their parents.