‘They took away my only joy’

‘I smoke dagga, but don’t abuse it’

CityPress - - News -

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Wild Wild Guardians swooped San­dra Bester’s house, ac­com­pa­nied by two so­cial work­ers and two po­lice of­fi­cers, and took away her one-and-a-half-year-old daugh­ter on Novem­ber 11 2015.

Bester (36) said that she had al­legedly been seen beg­ging for money at a chil­dren’s park in Geduld sub­urb in Springs. She ad­mits that she smoked dagga, but did not abuse it.

“When they came to my house, it had not been cleaned yet and they found mar­i­juana. How­ever, no charge was laid against me for that,” she said, hold­ing back the tears.

“I was ac­cused of beg­ging at the park when I was, in fact, tak­ing my child out to play,” Bester said. The process to re­move her child, she said, took less than an hour.

Bester said she saw no rea­son her baby had to be taken away, even though she is un­em­ployed.

“I tried to get her back. A mag­is­trate said I could only get my child on two con­di­tions: get­ting my own apart­ment and test­ing neg­a­tive for cannabis,” Bester said.

“But, to date, no drug tests have been done to see whether I am clean or not – which I am and have been since I lost my baby girl,” she said.

Dirk van Ee­den (36) was vis­it­ing a friend in Geduld with his baby and its mother, Thalita Louw (24), on Oc­to­ber 8 2016. It turned out he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Harber’s Wild Wild Guardians al­legedly ar­rived look­ing for an­other child, but turned their at­ten­tion on Van Ee­den’s in­fant son.

Van Ee­den claims that he and his now ex-part­ner were never taken to the Springs Mag­is­trates’ Court. Wild Wild Guardians al­legedly took their son and left.

“My girl­friend and I were ques­tioned and I ad­mit­ted to us­ing cannabis, while my girl­friend ad­mit­ted to us­ing other drugs,” Van Ee­den said.

The cou­ple was also not em­ployed at the time. Van Ee­den said no drug tests were con­ducted. They have not seen their child since. None of their rel­a­tives, he said, was con­tacted to as­cer­tain if they could help. “They did not of­fer us any re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.” Ac­cord­ing to Van Ee­den, his child was placed in the cus­tody of a ques­tion­able family – the “mother of a drug dealer’s wife”.

He said the re­moval of their child led to the break­down of his re­la­tion­ship with Louw and they sep­a­rated.

“They took away my joy. I have been robbed of the op­por­tu­nity to love my son”, Van Ee­den said, cry­ing.

San­dra Bester had her child taken away by Wild Wild Guardians

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