Errol Goetsch of the Justice and Reconciliation Centre says social workers targeted vulnerable families that were usually uneducated, poor or had more children than they could afford. Picture: Eric Gay/AP
Pretoria - The Department of Social Development said it would look into the claims that social workers were selling children to paedophiles and desperate couples who could not have children.

Only after getting full information on the matter would the department provide a clearer picture.

The allegations were made by Errol Goetsch of the Justice and Reconciliation Centre.

According to him, social workers targeted vulnerable families that were usually uneducated, poor or had more children than they could afford.

Goetsch said the demand for children to be abducted and sold in South Africa was extremely high.


He said adoption clients posed as foster parents and paid social workers a lot of money to get a child that would be used for their own personal gains.

“The problem is social workers know all the loopholes and the system so well and the Child Court works hand-in-hand with child protection organisation with the same social workers that lie to them to get what they want,” he said.

According to Goetsch, social workers had the right to remove children from their homes without the consent of the parents.


Even when one party was unsuitable to be a parent, the child still gets stripped away from their homes.

“Often these children are too young to speak for themselves and even if they are old enough, when they get to court they are left outside the building and the social worker speaks on their behalf.”

He said when they took a closer look at the profile of social workers, it usually was Afrikaner men with an affiliation to a Christian organisations or background.


He said courts usually trusted someone with a Christian background and normally did not suspect illegal behaviour from them.

He said the very same social worker who removed the child was appointed to investigate the case in question.

Goetsch said one of the huge cases that he worked on in Bloemfontein was about a brothel owner who bought teenagers from a social worker and used them as sex slaves.

He said he presented the case at the Children’s Court in July, and he had still not gotten a reply.

“This was one of the huge cases I have ever worked on. It had all of the elements and everything was explained in detail on how the children got removed and sold.

“One child said they had been raped several times, and now nothing is being done about this,” he said.

A woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said it had been three years since her daughter was taken away from her.

She said her child was taken by a private social worker who was appointed by the father. The father's parents owned a foster home.

“When I saw the story about child abductions in the newspaper I saw how similar it was to mine and I just got scared and thought maybe this was not happening to me alone.”

She said she had gone to the Department of Social Development and lodged a complaint, but had not received a reply.

“No lawyer has been able to help me because the social worker lied about me in court and said I was a bad mother and I do not have anymore money to pay for different lawyers,” she said.

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