Gran fights to reunite with child

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A 56-year-old street trader who was told she was too broke and sickly to raise her only granddaughter has won a three-year court battle.Picture:Gallo Images

Dudu Dube

A 56-year-old street trader who was told she was too broke and sickly to raise her only granddaughter has won a three-year court battle.

“I’m going to fetch her tomorrow, she’s coming home for good this time,” she said.

The Children’s Court declared Siyasanga (not her real name) as the official legal guardian of her granddaughter, 12, and ordered she receive a grant.

The grandmother said the 2013 Operation Clean Sweep saw informal traders forcefully removed from the city.

Siyasanga lost her stock and spent three months without an income. As the matter was being fought in court, she became ill.

“I had to make a difficult choice. I took her to a children’s home and told them I would come back to get her when I had recovered. I spent a year in hospital fighting TB,” Siyasanga said.

But by the time she returned, private social workers said she could not get the child back because she had no “financial means to take care of her”.

“I took care of her from when she was in nappies, why wouldn’t I be able to take care of her now when she’s old enough to eat what I eat?” she asked

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute took up her case in September.

Department of Social Development spokesperson Lumka Oliphant welcomed the court’s decision

“More than 500000 elderly persons collect foster care grants for orphaned children.”

dudud@thenewage.co.za

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