A six-year-old girl who was taken to a place of safety amid claims that she was abducted four years ago will remain in the care of the state until the results of a maternity test are ready.
Authorities confirmed that the matter had been heard at the Nerina One Stop Child Justice Centre court yesterday and postponed to May 3.
The girl was removed from a house in Richmond hill in a bizarre tug-of-love battle in which a Pretoria woman claimed to be the mother of the older child, who she alleges was abducted from a Johannesburg creche four years ago.
Department of Social Development district manager Tembile Ngqabayi said the child would stay at a place of safety pending the maternity test, in which the biological mother would be established.
“The blood results have not yet returned. Only one of the two who claimed to be the child’s mother actually came to court,” he said.
Detectives from Johannesburg are expected to arrive in Port Elizabeth soon to assist with the investigation.
The removal of the girl comes after Rose Gwachara arrived in Port Elizabeth from Pretoria, claiming her daughter had been abducted from a Johannesburg creche years back.
Gwachara was the only person who appeared in court yesterday.
She said she had arrived in Port Elizabeth in February following a tip-off that her abducted girl was living in a house in Campbell Street.
Barbara Kambanga, who lives at the Richmond Hill house, insisted that the girl had been placed in her care six years ago by the mother, who also lives in Johannesburg.
Police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said the inquiry had been taken over by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit.
“Detectives are liaising with social workers and monitoring the situation closely pending the maternity test,” she said.