A BLACK child is at the centre of a legal tug-of-war between a white woman and a black Zimbabwean woman both claiming to be the biological mother of the eight- year-old boy.
The white woman was arrested for fraud last month after it was discovered she had registered the child with home affairs as her own.
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Both women cannot be named to protect the identity of the child.
Vereeniging’s Captain Fikile Funda said the woman appeared in the Vereeniging Magistrate’s Court on a charge of fraud on April 23. The case was remanded to May 29, and she was released on bail.
She had been advised by her attorneys not to comment now.
The 31-year-old Zimbabwean woman claims she gave birth to the boy at Tembisa Hospital on February 13 2007.
She was working as a domestic worker for the white woman and her husband in Vereeniging, south of Johannesburg.
She said the battle over the child began when she stopped working for the couple in 2009. She said her former employers took the child from a day care centre on June 25 2010.
The couple allegedly lied under oath and registered the child as their biological son.
They allegedly then took the matter further and applied for the adoption of the child when they realised that their former employee was fighting to get her son back.
In a late registration of birth affidavit signed by the white woman, she claimed the boy was born on
September 13 2007 at Tembisa Hospital. The couple approached home affairs in Vereeniging on February 19 2009 to acquire a birth certificate for the child.
“Our investigation showed that there were high court orders show-ing that the child was biologically hers, hi the case file, there are doc-uments showing that the child was born at the Tembisa Hospital to the [white] woman,” Funda said.
“Investigators went to the hospital but they had no record of the [white] woman giving birth there. On paper, their claims look legit but all institutions we have approached could not confirm any of them.”
Funda said police were also investigating how home affairs issued a birth certificate to the couple.
A home affairs official based in Vereeniging, Fredie Sibusiso Simelane, stated in a sworn affidavit that in their records it showed that the couple acquired a passport for the child and signed as his parents.
He stated under oath that the child had travelled abroad in 2013 and last year. He also said that registering the child as theirs was committing fraud.
Home affairs spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete had not responded to questions sent on Wednesday by the time of going to print yesterday.
The boy’s mother said all she wanted was to get her child back.
“What hurts the most is that my son truly believes that she [white woman] is his biological mother. An official once asked him why he believed that, he said his minder forgot to put sunscreen on him and the sun burnt him,” said the woman.